Nail Yakupov, Mikhail Grigorenko, Ryan Murray, Filip Forsberg, Alex Galchenyuk, Darryl Sutter

Draft prospects meet their heroes at Stanley Cup finals


For Nail Yakupov, Filip Forsberg, Mikhail Grigorenko, Alex Galchenyuk, and Ryan Murray visiting the Stanley Cup finals was an opportunity for them to meet players they’re fans of themselves.

While the draft and where their future will take them is yet to be decided, visiting the finals gave Murray, a defenseman, the chance to talk with Kings defenseman Drew Doughty.

“I wanted to meet Doughty,” Murray said. “He’s such a great player and he’s done a lot in his career already. I heard he’s a beauty so I wanted to meet him.”

In case you’re wondering, yes, Murray found him to be a beauty.

Mikhail Grigorenko and Nail Yakupov were beyond excited to meet with Ilya Kovalchuk, his favorite player in the league.

“I think he’s the most skilled player in the league,” Grigorenko said. “He has amazing hands, amazing shot. He can do everything you want on the ice. He can score, he can pass, he can fight.”

For forward Filip Forsberg, seeing Johan Hedberg gave him a slice of being back home again as they’re both from the same town. While Forsberg says Hedberg didn’t give him any advice, he said Hedberg provides him with a great example.

“You try to work hard everyday and it’s never too late. He’s almost 40-years-old and he’s playing in his first Stanley Cup finals. You should never give up.”

That’s great advice for any one trying to reach the NHL.

(Photo: Dave Sandford – Twitter)

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.