Alexander Radulov

Report: Detroit “fuming” over Radulov return


On Tuesday, ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun shed some light on reactions to Alexander Radulov’s return to the NHL. The Russian forward is projected to soon become a member of the Nashville Predators, something a few NHLers weighed in on.

Washington’s Joel Ward said Radulov would be “an asset” while Alex Ovechkin said he’s “probably the biggest star” in the KHL. One of the most intriguing responses, though, came from Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk.

“I know he’s a good guy and good player too,” Datsyuk told ESPN. “Lots of skill. He’s one of best KHL players for [the] last three years.

“Big help for Nashville Predators. Not good for us.”

That comment led LeBrun to reveal the following:

Datsyuk nailed it at the end of his comment there, saying “not good for us.” The way the Wings are playing right now, and with a first-round date against Nashville likely at this point, no wonder the Wings’ organization was privately fuming last week when the NHL announced its Radulov decision.

The Wings experienced a similar situation in 2010 when forward Jiri Hudler announced he was leaving the KHL to return to Detroit. In 2009, Hudler spurned a two-year, arbitrator-awarded deal to sign with Dynamo Moscow…a club that would eventually fold.

The issue? Even though Dynamo released Hudler on Apr. 18 — five days after the NHL playoffs began — he was ineligible for postseason play because he was not on the Wings’ roster prior to the March trade deadline.

Obviously, Hudler’s case is different from Radulov’s. Hudler left at the end of his contract (meaning Detroit retained his rights) whereas Radulov left during his (meaning he owed Nashville a year of service). Yet the Red Wings organization is still privately seething about this, especially with rumors that Radulov will head back to the KHL next season.

Detroit isn’t the only organization upset with Radulov’s return. St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong claimed Radulov’s case became a contentious debate at the GM meetings in Boca Raton, saying Radulov “gets his cake and eats it, too.”

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.