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Mitchell: ‘If you don’t want me, I don’t want to be here’

Jun 30, 2014, 11:45 PM EST

Los Angeles Kings v Phoenix Coyotes Getty Images

Willie Mitchell has spoken.

The 37-year-old defenseman, fresh off winning his second Stanley Cup in three years with the L.A. Kings, was informed only a few days ago that the club will not be re-signing him, choosing to go in a different direction.

Mitchell spent the last four years in L.A., but only played in three of those seasons. He missed the entire lockout campaign due to injury but returned to the Kings this season, playing in 76 games, then in 18 during their spring run that culminated with another championship.

His two-year contract, worth $3.5 million a season, as per Capgeek.com, expires and he’ll become an unrestricted free agent.

“It was a little tough to take,” Mitchell told the L.A. Times. “It’s like one of those girlfriends you had before you got married who just kind of rejected you.

“I get the business side of it too. It’s probably better to go in a new direction to where they’re excited to have you. I told him, it’s not about what I want. It’s about you guys wanting me. And if you don’t want me, I don’t want to be here.”

  1. 19to77 - Jul 1, 2014 at 12:29 AM

    Wow. Didn’t see that coming. Figured they’d keep him around another year or two. Take your pick of the litter, Willie, you’ll have a dozen suitors by the end of the night. Is it too wild a pipe dream to hope for a brief return to Vancouver? Seriously, we banished Mike Gillis and everything. IT WASN’T US, IT WAS HIM. WE ALWAYS LOVED YOU.

  2. nightfireop - Jul 1, 2014 at 12:29 AM

    …….huh??

    willie seriously?? can’t possibly be you speaking like that; what the hell???!!

  3. gbatap - Jul 1, 2014 at 12:33 AM

    Really? If he understood the business side of things then he should know it has little to nothing to do with not wanting him. What’s with athletes and turning into 13 year old girls when they feel ‘rejected’.

    • nightfireop - Jul 1, 2014 at 12:36 AM

      i dunno, this is extremely uncharacteristic of willie doing this. you ask anybody who follows the kings, the business side being unable to sign him back is one of the toughest things we had to do to move on, yet he took it waaaay to personally as if lombardi was trying to wrong him. dude, lombardi didn’t wrong you, but it would be unrealistically unfair for us to sign you back for a dollar unless you seriously would take THAT to stay with us. cuz seriously if you want to give us a 90% home town discount, BAM! sign the form.

      cmon willie that’s extremely childish to hear you say that…and ppl looked up to you too.

  4. hawkeedawg - Jul 1, 2014 at 12:35 AM

    Ride into the sunset in your home province Willie. It was sad to see you go, a real solid character guy and team mate, general all round nice guy.

    Come back to Van in a limited role to mentor the youngin’s and retire in two years with your two cups.

    • nightfireop - Jul 1, 2014 at 12:37 AM

      “character” just seems a bit foregin for him at this time. the ONLY thing i can perhaps assume is that he’s probably just as upset as anyone and just saying things out of emotion right now.

  5. notorious5150 - Jul 1, 2014 at 1:01 AM

    Taken way out of context. The full article is in the LA times.

  6. namriverrat69 - Jul 1, 2014 at 1:02 AM

    I loved having Willie Mitchell on my Kings. He brought so many outstanding characteristics of leadership. I remember after winning their first Cup two years ago. Who was the first person Brownie passed the Cup to? Willie Mitchell. That is how much he meant to this team. He gave his heart and soul on the ice and taught the younger players too.

    How does anyone know the Kings didn’t mislead him during the season into thinking they were going to re-sign him? That my be why he is upset. Who knows. I know the Kings will miss his fire, enthusiasm and the 110% he gave while on the ice (reminiscent of one of my favorites – John Tonelli).

    Thanks Willie – you will be sorely missed by many fans but it appears not to many here in these comments..

    • blomfeld - Jul 1, 2014 at 2:31 AM

      WELL I’M A FAN OF HIS AND I’M HERE …

      Nam and friends …

      This is indeed quite an ‘unexpected’ development, even though perhaps it isn’t when you stop to think about it eh ? I personally love Willie Mitchell and all that he’s done for our enterprise over the course of the past 3 years, etc. In fact, one of the most ‘endearing’ aspects of our glorious 2012 campaign was that of Willie Mitchell and the notion of ‘righteous’ redemption (ie: FU Mike Gillis). Nonetheless, there has to come a time for ‘all’ things to pass and as sad as it may be, the time has now likely come for us Kings to part ways with this ‘quality’ person. So God speed Willie and may your travels ahead be happy, safe and pleasing … comrade Blomfeld

      • avfanforlife - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:49 AM

        Your video’s ruin every thread. Enough with the Elvis crap already!!!!!!!

  7. pj608 - Jul 1, 2014 at 1:13 AM

    Some one will sign him….

  8. howintensive - Jul 1, 2014 at 1:49 AM

    The biggest thing that will determine how much Willie Mitchell makes in free agency is, strangely, which hand he holds the top of his stick with.

  9. nicofthenorthstar - Jul 1, 2014 at 5:38 AM

    Wow. Nightfire is fired up! Who’s taking this whole thing line a 13 year old?
    If Wild don’t sign Stoner, look for Mitchell to be back in the Christmas sweater.

    • nightfireop - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:54 AM

      nice to see you care more about other people’s comments than the content of the article.

  10. patthehockeyfan - Jul 1, 2014 at 6:44 AM

    Wow! Dean Lombardi told Mitchell in the exit interview that there was no room for Mitchell any longer. THEN he asked Mitchell what he wanted? Very strange.

    The LA Times article indicated that there were no hard feelings on Mitchell’s part. Good for him! He’s been a stand-up guy.

    I’ll miss him, and can only wish him luck and success in his future. Thanks, Willie, for your play and for the two Cups!

  11. jpat2424 - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:14 AM

    Character guy? Really. Ha!!!!

  12. pirovash88 - Jul 1, 2014 at 11:01 AM

    As a Kings fan, i’m sad to see him go, but i’m also glad that we chose to sign Greene over him. He’s got a record with injuries and even missed all of the 2012-13 Season due to a knee injury. I’m sure if there was cap space he would stay, but there isn’t. Lombardi is going to do what’s best for this team, given the circumstances, and giving Willie a 2-year contract doesn’t seem like a plausible idea. Best wishes to Willie, i’m sure he’ll sign somewhere soon enough.

  13. 950003cups - Jul 1, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    Did Willie end his quote with his thumbs in his ears waiving his fingers saying “ninny ninny nya nya” ?

    • patthehockeyfan - Jul 1, 2014 at 11:37 AM

      lol

  14. paulerhythm - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:05 AM

    Best wishes and best of luck to a great leader and winner, Willie Mitchell. He is a terrific player with 2 Cups. He will be missed.

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