Oilers’ Potter leaves Austria for family reasons

While other players are returning to North America because of injuries or even taxes, Corey Potter is leaving his overseas hockey team to be around for the birth of his child, according to the Edmonton Sun.

Potter played 17 games for the Vienna Capitals in Austria, but with his pregnant wife due for mid-December, the Edmonton Oilers blueliner opted to join his growing family.

This milestone personal moment might not call for the end of his time with the Austrian hockey team altogether, however. Potter said that he could envision returning to the squad if the lockout drags on.

“I have nothing but good things to say about my experience,” Potter said. “I would definitely like to come back.”

Potter had a goal and four points in those 17 contests with Vienna after producing 21 points in a career-high 62 games last season, averaging just under 20 minutes of ice time per game.

He doesn’t have to fret like many other players at his mid-level due to fact that his two-year, $1.55 million contract won’t expire until after the 2013-14 campaign.

That kind of security allows Potter to focus on being a father as well as a hockey player.

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.

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.