New York Islanders Draft Party

Islanders ask for $4 million in repairs to Nassau Coliseum as they await vote for new arena


It almost seems a bit unfair to beat up on the New York Islanders front office, roster and even their aging (to put it kindly) arena. Call it kicking a dead horse if you want, but it’s more than a bit sad to see a one-time dynasty in such dire straits.

That’s exactly how you would describe their long-time building known as the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, though. Chris Botta reports that the Islanders organization has reportedly requested $4 million in repairs from Nassau County, which owns the crumbling arena.

Botta points out that the timing of the request might be described as awkward because the team and region await voting on a public referendum that will approve or reject a $350 million plan for a new Coliseum on August 1. That being said, the $4 million request might be more reasonable when you consider the discouraging problems that are plaguing the facility, which Botta describes below.

The majority of seats in the 100 level of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, and the mechanism that enables the sections to slide in and out based on the event, are a disaster. Hundreds of seats are damaged, broken beyond repair and unsafe.

The roof of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, which has been patched up with temporary sealants and tape since before Ziggy Palffy came to play, has a whole new batch of leaks. As a result, seating areas and aisles continue to be dangerous.

The refrigeration system that creates the playing surface for New York Islanders hockey games at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum is barely functional, and can break down on any given day. According to a league source, the Coliseum ice was rated by NHL players the last two seasons among the three worst – despite the Islanders recently spending more than $500,000 in repairs. Not good for player safety.

Botta notes that officials can vote on the $4 million request on Monday or “put it off for another day,” which might eventually force Islanders owner Charles Wang to pay for the repairs himself (which he has reportedly done before). Hopefully the Islanders and people in that area can look back at these times and laugh because these are some very dark times for a once-proud franchise.

(H/T to Kukla’s Korner.)

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.