Roman Cervenka

Flames sign KHL playoff scoring champ to $3.8 million deal


Some intriguing news out of Calgary today as the Flames have agreed on a one-year, $3.8 million deal with KHL standout Roman Cervenka.

“Roman is a highly skilled player with great hands, excellent vision and the ability to score goals at an elite level of play,” said GM Jay Feaster. “Our scouts in Europe identified him as someone who could slot into our top six forward group and play in the NHL as a top two line centre.”

Cervenka, 26, has starred with Omsk Avangard of the KHL over the last two years. He was named an All-Star, led the KHL in goalscoring and led the recently-finished playoffs in points (22 in 20 games).

He also represented the Czech Republic at the 2010 Winter Olympics and was Jaromir Jagr’s linemate during Jagr’s final year with Omsk.

“[Flames assistant GM] John Weisbrod went to see him play early in the KHL Playoffs and came away confirming everything we had heard from our scouts in Europe,” Feaster continued. “We made an aggressive pitch to convince him that Calgary was the perfect place for him to start his NHL career, and we are extremely pleased Roman agreed.”

The Cervenka signing could spell the end of Olli Jokinen’s time in Calgary. The 33-year-old Finn is an unrestricted free agent and faded badly down the stretch, posting a minus-14 rating while scoring just two goals with no assists.

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.