Penguins deny meeting for Crosby captaincy replacement


Last week, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writer Dejan Kovacevic raised some eyebrows by reporting a group of Penguins players held a 45-minute meeting to discuss a temporary replacement for injured captain Sidney Crosby.

Yesterday, veteran winger Craig Adams vehemently denied the meeting took place.

“Ask every person in this room right now, point-blank, and they’ll deny it,” Adams said. “Knowing the people in this room, I don’t think that could happen here. And for it to be a topic of conversation, for some of our fans to think it did happen, that’s pretty sad.”

Pens GM Ray Shero also denied there was a meeting, though it should be noted the Tribune-Review says it stands by Kovacevic’s original report.

For some additional context into this situation, CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada addressed the replacement captaincy issue (and Kovacevic’s article) on Saturday’s Hotstove segment. Here’s the transcription of what was said by host Ron MacLean and the Calgary Sun’s Eric Francis.

MacLean: The story came out of the assertion that the Penguins, within the room, said, “Look, if Sid can’t play, we need a captain.”

Francis: I spoke to Craig Adams, who’s one of the veteran leaders on that team, and he said absolutely no truth to it whatsoever and that the article really took them by surprise, that it really infuriated guys in that room, because they never saw it coming. This is a guy, who wrote this, who they say they’re totally unfamiliar with — he’s never been in their room, doesn’t know any of the players. So they took total exception to that and said there’s no truth to it.

Shortly thereafter, Kovacevic addressed Francis’ comments on Twitter.

“I’ve made my position clear and I know what’s behind it, as do the editors,” he said. “There’s a process at any newspaper. All sources disclosed.”

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.