Bettman and Fehr

NHL, NHLPA to meet on Monday


The NHL and NHLPA chatted via telephone just four days into a proposed two-week moratorium, and now plan on meeting Monday night, according to Sportsnet’s Daren Millard.*

Better yet, those loose plans would bring the heavy hitters together; Millard reports that Gary Bettman, Donald Fehr and Bill Daly expect to join a smattering of players and owners for those talks.

(TSN’s Darren Dreger indicates that it will be “a smaller group” of players and owners.)

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that the meetings will be located in New York City.

It’s an interesting development considering Bettman’s call for a break in talks, along with the latest round of player comments and mixed reports about Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider’s involvement in the CBA negotiations.

This could also be an important last-ditch effort if it’s true that next week is the deadline to avoid the cancellation of contests through Dec. 15.

Who knows how much either side may be willing to budge, but at least they’re – probably – going to meet again.

* – These reports have been confirmed by The Associated Press.

Related: Daly said NHLPA requested Monday’s meeting.

Blue Jackets’ Wennberg done for night with upper-body injury

Alexander Wennberg, Jay Bouwmeester
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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.

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.