Dallas Stars v Los Angeles Kings

Terry Murray has Drew Doughty ‘in the front’ of his mind regarding lineup options

When it comes to the muddled negotiations between Drew Doughty’s reps and the Los Angeles Kings, the cliche “No news is good news” isn’t really true. As I wrote before, it seems like Kings GM Dean Lombardi and Doughty’s agent Don Meehan are in a tense staring contest with millions – not to mention the Kings’ seemingly promising upcoming season – hanging in the balance.

The latest news is more of the same: the word from Lombardi’s camp is that there’s nothing new to report regarding the negotiations according to report by Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times.

With the underlying feeling of hostility permeating between at least some people involved, it’s easy for some to forget that Doughty will eventually need to return to work with the team that drafted him second overall in 2008. Kings coach Terry Murray told Elliott that he has Doughty in mind when drawing up line combinations.

But Murray said that in preparing for the season, “he’s very much in the front of my mind whenever I sit down and go through the lines and the defense pairings. … If things happen where he’s here two days before the season starts, he’s in the lineup and ready to go.”

It’s not exactly ideal for Doughty to miss most – if not all – of training camp and the preseason, but he shouldn’t take a long time to shake off the rust whenever he signs with the Kings. Let’s hope it’s sooner rather than later, though.

(H/T to Rotoworld.)

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.