Andrew Ladd hopes to play in Game 1

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easyladdy.jpgIt’s no secret that hockey players will fight through some gruesome injuries and often take crazy health risks to play in the playoffs. Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Ladd needs only to look back at his Stanley Cup winning run with the Carolina Hurricanes – and his former teammate Erik Cole’s courageous Game 7 return despite a serious neck injury – to justify coming back earlier than he normally would. reports that Ladd is shooting for a Game 1 return from an “upper-body injury” that some believe took place after he collided with burly San Jose Sharks defenseman Rob Blake during Game 4 of the Western Conference finals.

And, it is Cole’s emotional return back in 2006 that keeps flashing back into Ladd’s mind as he fights to come back and be a part of his second Stanley Cup Final in five years. Two weeks may seem like the blink of an eye to the outsider, but Ladd knows it provides plenty of time to heal for a hockey player intent on playing.

“I think you find that there are a lot of different scenarios and its pretty tough to keep a guy out a situation where you are playing for the Stanley Cup and all a guy wants to do is help,” Ladd said.

Chicago coach Joel Quenneville is listing Ladd as day-to-day and says he should make an appearance in this series. But Ladd’s teammates are even more positive.

“Nothing will keep him off the ice,” said Dave Bolland, who shares checking-line duties with Bolland.

Ladd stated an intention – though by no means a guarantee – to try to test out his injury in Friday’s morning skate. The rugged winger contributed 17 goals and 21 assists for Chicago during the regular season and has 2 goals and 1 assist so far in the playoffs.

We’ll pass along updates on Ladd (and other injury situations) as we hear more about them building up to Saturday night’s Game 1 contest.

Kings, NHLPA announce settlement in Richards grievance

Los Angeles Kings v New York Rangers

The Los Angeles Kings announced today that they have “reached an agreement with Mike Richards to resolve the grievance filed in relation to the termination of his NHL Standard Players Contract. The terms are agreeable to all parties.”

The club said that it will not be commenting further “on the terms” of the settlement.

The NHLPA released a similar statement.

It was reported earlier in the week that a settlement was close to being reached; however, it wasn’t clear what salary-cap penalties the Kings would incur.

We’re starting to find out some details now:

How the final numbers differ from what the Kings would have incurred if they’d bought Richards out will be interesting to see. And if there are differences, how will they be justified?

Stay tuned.

Report: Ex-NHLer Aaron Ward arrested for ‘assault on a female’ (Updated)

Brad May, Kevin Hodson, Jiri Fischer, Aaron Ward

Aaron Ward, a 16-year NHL veteran that appeared in over 800 career games, has been arrested for “assault on a female,” per WNCN.

Ward was arrested on Friday in Cary, North Carolina and also charged with interfering with emergency communication, according to the report.

Currently working as an analyst for TSN, Ward spent five years of his career in Carolina, helping the ‘Canes capture the Stanley Cup in 2006.

Update: Per WRAL, Ward’s wife called 9-1-1 after the two had a confrontation around 1 p.m. ET. Police confirmed Ward was arrested at his home in Cary.

According to the warrant for his arrest, he took away his wife’s phone.

Because of the nature of his charges, Ward will spend a mandatory 48 hours in the Wake County jail. Anyone arrested on a domestic violence charge is held for 48 hours before bail is set.

And here’s a statement from TSN: