Report: Ilya Kovalchuk talks might conclude Monday, prepare grain of salt


Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for kovalchukshot.jpgI know many of you (myself included) are in “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me” mode when it comes to Ilya Kovalchuk talk. After all, there have been plenty of false starts in the process.

The latest rumor comes from’s Darren Millard on Twitter.

Kovy-gate comes 2 an end tomorrow. Kings win the process. Don’t want announc[e]ment 2 get overshadowed by WC.

The always-solid Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider doesn’t confirm or deny Millard’s report.

No confirmation yet. One strong team source has just said that there is “continued engagement,” but that no announcement is imminent. Updates will be forthcoming if necessary.

At this point, I’ll be happy as long as he stays in the NHL. That doesn’t guarantee I’ll agree with the contract that is handed out, but the league would be at a great loss if – to paraphrase LeBron James – Kovalchuk took his talents to Russia.

We’ll keep you updated on the process. Monday could be a big day in the history of the Los Angeles Kings (or New Jersey Devils? Or someone else?).

Kings grab goalie insurance by signing Budaj

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Jhonas Enroth #1 and Peter Budaj #31 of the Los Angeles Kings stretch before a game against the Arizona Coyotes at STAPLES Center on September 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)
via Los Angeles Kings
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In slightly less interesting Los Angeles Kings news than the latest in the Mike Richards fiasco, the team handed Peter Budaj a one-year, two-way deal on Friday.

The veteran goalie’s contract pays $575K on the NHL level and $100K in the AHL (though it’s $150K guaranteed), according to Hockey’s Cap.

At the moment, it sounds like Budaj will be third on the Kings’ goalie depth chart. That says as much about how things have been going lately for Los Angeles than Budaj’s work on a PTO.

As noted above, one of the more significant moves in Budaj’s favor came when the New York Islanders claimed Jean-Francois Berube off of waivers this week.

The Kings actually waived Budaj before signing him, so this has to be a relief to a goalie with a fairly robust resume as a backup.

All apologies to Budaj, but it’s probably true that the Kings would prefer not to see him at the NHL level very often in 2015-16.

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.