Anaheim Ducks forward Nick Bonino has agreed to join Italian second division team Hockeyclub Neumarkt-Riwega, according to the team website. The move is believed to make Bonino the first locked-out NHLer to join the Italian hockey federation.
Much like the earlier Erik Condra-to-EV Fussen deal, this is a huge get for the European club. The Italian second division is — how should we put this — hardly a glamorous circuit, and Bonino is fresh off a breakout campaign with the Ducks.
The 24-year-old emerged as a legit regular in the Anaheim lineup last season, posting 5G-13A-18PTS in just 50 games (he also scored 22 points in 19 games for AHL Syracuse.) Following the year, Bonino and the Ducks managed to avoid arbitration by agreeing to a two-year, one-way deal worth $1.4 million.
A former standout at Boston University, Bonino expects to challenge for a full time job in Anaheim’s bottom-six when (or, if) the NHL starts back up.
It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?
OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.
Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.
There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:
Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.
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.