The Los Angeles Kings re-signed spirited forward Brad Richardson to a one-year, $900K contract according to Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider. This allows the Kings and Richardson to avoid the often-painful salary arbitration process.
Richardson had a career year in 09-10, benefiting from occasional spot duty alongside Anze Kopitar and Wayne Simmonds. He scored 11 goals and 16 assists for a personal best of 27 points while earning about two more minutes per game than he did with the Kings in 08-09.
He’s a pretty limited player considering the fact that he’s an “energy guy” at 5-11, but you really have to hand it to those “spark-plug” types. As the team waits to see what happens with Ilya Kovalchuk, it’s important to remember that their forward ranks are pretty light at the moment. CapGeek.com only lists eight other NHL-level forwards on their roster right now, although there’s a solid chance that prospects – particularly Oscar Moller and Brayden Schenn – could see some more time with the big club.
Richardson won’t set the world on fire, but he’s the kind of dirty work guy that can help a team win in subtle ways. That doesn’t necessarily make him very special, but GM Dean Lombardi feels like it at least makes him worth keeping around.
Get set for the Heritage Classic with hot dog facts and more
The Winnipeg Jets host the Edmonton Oilers at the 2016 Heritage Classic at Investors Group Field this afternoon. You can watch it on NHL Network, Sportsnet, TVA Sports 2 or NHL.tv at 3 p.m. ET.
With that in mind, let’s get prepped with super-important stats about unhealthy food, interesting photos and fun facts.
Want to get an in-depth look at the rivalry between the Jets and the Oilers? NHL.com and Sportsnet both have some great retrospectives.
The CBC notes that there was rain ending in the morning but it’s expected to be cloudy. Overall, sounds like a nice climate for an outdoor hockey game. NHL.com’s Nick Cotsonika wonders if the sun’s glare might cause some issues.
The Arizona Coyotes received (mostly) good news on Sunday: Mike Smith‘s injury isn’t believed to be “severe,” even if he’s considered week-to-week, according to reporters including TSN’s Darren Dreger.
While Louis Domingue and Justin Peters isn’t the sort of goalie duo that will make shooters think twice about firing the puck, they’re both at least fairly experienced netminders.
(Considering Smith’s struggles with injuries and inconsistency, it’s not surprising that Arizona invested in a little insurance in Peters.)
Domingue is slated to start in net for the Coyotes against the New York Rangers on Sunday. It’s been a bumpy start for him so far, but Arizona has at least a theoretical advantage in that the Rangers played on Saturday.
As far as when Smith will be back? Well here’s a slight idea.
Dave Tippett does not think Mike Smith will be ready for home game vs. Colorado on Oct. 29, but he is not far from getting back on the ice.
Chances are, plenty of hockey fans – and maybe some members of the Colorado Avalanche – were uttering that question after Saturday night.
Well, we know this about Shane Harper: he scored his first two NHL goals at age 27, helping the Florida Panthers beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-2.
You can watch both of Harper’s goals in the recap video:
Harper also drew enough ire from the Avalanche to get into a bit of a skirmish following a hit.
So, who is Shane Harper?
For one thing, he’s from Valencia, California and did not go drafted.
His best junior season came in 2009-10, when he scored 42 goals and 80 points for the Everett Silvertips. He’s become quite the seasoned AHL veteran since then, and while his numbers won’t wow you, he did do enough in 2014-15 to maybe turn a head or two. Harper scored 32 goals and 50 points for the Chicago Wolves that season.
You can tell his teammates were happy for him – gentle ribbing and all – when the media asked about his career milestone: