This week’s Big Question: What’s the ice like around the league compared with two years ago?
James van Riemsdyk, RW, Toronto Maple Leafs: “It’s been awful. I don’t know what it is. Even in our building this year. I thought it was really good [when we came] back for World Cup and right after that for the first little bit. But the last little bit, it’s been so bad. The puck’s all over the place. … I know we have a lot of events in here. I think they’re trying to fix some things and change some things. Both teams are playing on it, so it’s not an excuse [for players] in that regard. But for the sake of the product of the game — we talk about goal scoring and stuff like that — if you have a better ice surface and the puck isn’t bouncing around as much and guys can make plays, you would think that would be as good a reason as any to get more goals in the league. I know they’re working on it and they’re trying, but it hasn’t been good of late.”
The Lakers have inquired about the availability of Pacers star Paul George, right, according to sources, as Magic Johnson and Larry Bird now find themselves competitors in dueling front offices.
Johnson has wasted little time getting busy since he was handed control of basketball operations by Lakers president and co-owner Jeanie Buss, quickly sealing a trade Tuesday afternoon with the Houston Rockets for a future first-round pick and veteran swingman Corey Brewer in exchange for high-scoring guard Lou Williams.
League sources told Stein that the Lakers were also seeking a quality second-round pick from teams interested in veteran shooting guard Nick Young.
Johnson addressed the Lakers’ players and coaches when they reported for Wednesday’s practice at 1 p.m. local time.