Sidney Crosby

Crosby says 60-game season would be “pretty fair”


Sidney Crosby isn’t just coming to grips with the reality of a shortened NHL season — he also has a number in mind.

That’s what the Penguins captain told WXDX Pittsburgh radio on Friday, suggesting a 60-game schedule would work well:

On games needed to have a legitimate regular season:

Sidney Crosby: “I don’t really have a number. I just think as many as they can get. That’s what I would hope would be everyone’s goal. I don’t want to put a number on it — the closer we can get to a full one, the better for everybody.”

On how many games are enough for everyone to get a fair shake:

SC: “Right off the top of my head, I gotta think 60. … I’m sure less than that could be played but I think 60 would be pretty fair. There are teams that struggle and that gives you a chance to go through a tough point in the season and still have time to kinda gather yourself. So that’s a length that I’m sure everyone could live with, but I’m sure that we’d all be much happier playing much more than that.”

On the the 48-game schedule after a work stoppage in 1994:

SC: “There’s at least that. Maybe they could think about that, but I really don’t know. I think 60 is a fair amount but I don’t even want to talk about that because if they’ve canceled 12 for everyone then that still leaves us at 70.”

(Transcription courtesy Sports Radio Interviews)

The 1994-95 lockout ended on Jan. 11 and the regular season started nine days later, on Jan. 20.

Games ran through May 3, the first time in NHL history the regular season extended into May, and teams only played intra-conference contests, meaning Eastern and Western conference teams didn’t face each other.

The 1994-95 postseason began on May 6 (comparatively speaking, last year’s playoffs began on Apr. 11) and ended on June 24, thanks in large part to New Jersey sweeping the Detroit in the Stanley Cup final.

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)
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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.