Nail Yakupov

Yakupov tops Craig Button’s final draft rankings


Former NHL general manager Craig Button has released his final draft rankings over at No surprise, Russian forward Nail Yakupov tops the list. After that, it’s two defensemen, Mathew Dumba and Morgan Reilly, followed by forwards Alex Galchenyuk and Teuvo Teravainen.

Button’s most controversial assessment will be Mikhail Grigorenko at No. 20. The talented Russian is ranked No. 3 among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting.

Another player Button isn’t quite as sold on is defenseman Ryan Murray, who he’s got at No. 13.

On the other hand, he’s got d-man Matt Finn at No. 9 and center Mark Jankowski at No. 14, while Central Scouting has both those players considerably lower.

Related: Oilers president loves top draft prospect Ryan Murray

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.

Report: Ex-NHLer Aaron Ward arrested for ‘assault on a female’ (Updated)

Brad May, Kevin Hodson, Jiri Fischer, Aaron Ward

Aaron Ward, a 16-year NHL veteran that appeared in over 800 career games, has been arrested for “assault on a female,” per WNCN.

Ward was arrested on Friday in Cary, North Carolina and also charged with interfering with emergency communication, according to the report.

Currently working as an analyst for TSN, Ward spent five years of his career in Carolina, helping the ‘Canes capture the Stanley Cup in 2006.

Update: Per WRAL, Ward’s wife called 9-1-1 after the two had a confrontation around 1 p.m. ET. Police confirmed Ward was arrested at his home in Cary.

According to the warrant for his arrest, he took away his wife’s phone.

Because of the nature of his charges, Ward will spend a mandatory 48 hours in the Wake County jail. Anyone arrested on a domestic violence charge is held for 48 hours before bail is set.

And here’s a statement from TSN: