After quietly meeting on Friday, Steve Fehr and Bill Daly “touched base” today to hash out a negotiating schedule for next week, according to Pierre LeBrun.
The NHL and NHLPA traded barbs after announcing the cancellation the first two weeks of the 2012-13 season, yet the latest updates have provided traces of optimism.
For one thing, LeBrun reported that the two sides seemed more eager to find a compromise during that Friday gathering.
There are even rumors that the players are preparing a new proposal to try to strike a deal.
At least one expert finds it hard to believe that the two sides are truly as far apart as some of the commentary indicates, too.
Still, it’s tough to say how much progress has been made. Mostly pessimistic pieces such as this Sporting News report hint that the sides still could be deeply divided.
As we’ve mentioned before, it’s heartening that they’re at least keeping the lines of communication open, if nothing else.
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.
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?