Milan Lucic vs. Cody McCormick

PHT Oddsmaker: Let’s gamble on the NHL

PHT Oddsmaker will be a regular feature where we set pretend odds and pretend to gamble on them. If you’d like to bet real money, meet us in the alley and we’ll talk.

Total penalty minutes in tonight’s Buffalo-Boston game (Over/under 69.5)

The Sabres have to make a physical statement. Failing to respond is not an option. The bare minimum would be for one of them to challenge Milan Lucic to a fight. However, I have a hard time believing that will be it. Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff racked up over 1,200 PIM in his NHL career. He must’ve been absolutely mortified by his team’s indifference 11 days ago. The coach will expect a response tonight. The fans will expect a response tonight. Forget all this talk about the Sabres being a soft team. They’re still hockey players. I’m predicting multiple fights and misconducts. Take the over.

Odds Sidney Crosby wins the Hart Trophy (+800)

Earlier this week, an online sports book was offering these odds for real. They’ve since been pulled from the board. Probably because everyone hammered them. Crosby could easily win the Hart. First of all, he’s really good and there’s three quarters of a season left. Secondly, who else is going to win it? Phil Kessel? You’ll be excused  for doubting he can stay Hart-worthy all season. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the Hart Trophy is voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association. With all the attention concussions have been receiving in the media, if Crosby can come back and dominate like he’s done in the past, well, that’s a tempting sentimental vote right there. Will Crosby win the Hart? Probably not. Is 8/1 enough to make the risk worthwhile? Absolutely.

Goals for Alex Ovechkin in 2011-12 (Over/under 32.5)

He scored 32 last season, thus the line. At the moment he’s on pace for 30. I’ll take the over though. The reason being, if Ovechkin continues to struggle, a coaching change becomes even more likely. And if a coaching change occurs, the new guy won’t be playing Ovechkin 18 minutes a game. Chances are he’ll let No. 8 off his leash and let him do his thing. Obviously there’s a chance Bruce Boudreau will survive and Ovechkin will keep playing the way he’s playing. It’s just hard to bet Ovi can’t score 26 goals in his next 63 games.

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.