Ovi-Girardi hit

Ovechkin’s hit on Girardi raises questions; Hunter calls it “incidental contact”


One of the more memorable plays from the Capitals’ 3-2 win over the Rangers was seeing Alex Ovechkin lay a huge hit on Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi during the second period. Ovechkin was given a minor penalty for charging thanks to him leaving his feet to make the hit. Take a look at the video and see for yourself.

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After the game, Caps coach Dale Hunter told Stephen Whyno of The Washington Times he thought the hit wasn’t as menacing as it appeared.

“It was more incidental contact where both of them were protecting themselves and trying to get out of the way,” Hunter said.

Dan Girardi told Andrew Gross of Ranger Rants he didn’t want to make a big deal out of the play but did say Ovechkin hit him in the head.

“He hit my head a bit there, I think it was the right cal,” Girardi said. “I’m not sure what it was, charging or interference. My head’s kind of there, I think he’s just playing the game hard.”

Meanwhile, Ovechkin said he thought the hit was shoulder-to-shoulder. Chris Botta of Sports Business Journal said the thought after the game was that there would be no supplementary discipline for Ovechkin even in spite of him being a repeat offender.

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.