Whenever Toronto and Boston get together these days there’s a buzz about the game that always centers around how Phil Kessel performs against his old team and how Tyler Seguin plays against the team he could’ve been a part of. When Kessel goes wild, Leafs nation exuberantly cheers believing they got the better of their trade between foes. When Seguin pots a goal, the cheers in Boston of, “Thank you Kessel” rain down causing the Leafs faithful to seethe.
While Brian Burke essentially declared the trade a win for Boston thanks to winning the Stanley Cup last year, is this Toronto-Boston battle a true rivalry? CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty doesn’t think so. Haggerty says that it’s not a rivalry until both sides get the upper hand on each other. Boston has owned Toronto the last four years going 11-4-3 against the Leafs. Add to that that the two teams haven’t faced each other in the playoffs in seemingly forever and there’s not much else to go on aside from the Kessel-Seguin (eventually Dougie Hamilton) stuff.
Does that make it any less contentious though? No way. Perhaps the Bruins look at this as the kid brother of the arch rival looking to get a piece of them while their true rivals, Montreal, are always there to light the fuse. Either way, when it comes to either of the traditional rivals out of Canada, the Bruins have to be dialed in and ready to play or else.
After all, if Boston wants this to continue to not be a rivalry in their minds, they have to keep putting their foot down. With how the Leafs have been playing this season there might be just a classic rivalry to come out of this anyhow.
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.
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?