If you’re looking for an optimistic view on the future of the CBA negotiations, Don Cherry hasn’t been your man lately.
Roughly two months ago, Cherry said, “If I’m betting, I’d say no [NHL season].”
He seemed to reinforce that sentiment when he suggested that the dramatic collapse of talks on Dec. 6 solidified the hard-line owners’ stance.
“Looks like I will see a lot more of Marlies, Junior and Minor Midget games this year,” Cherry said in summary at the time.
Now, after weeks of little to no communication between the two sides, Cherry seems much more optimistic.
“Look to the middle of January for the game to return!” Cherry tweeted.
So what changed his mind? Ultimately, he doesn’t think that anyone “in their right mind would kill the goose that lays these golden eggs.”
He went on to assert that a shortened NHL season will be “terrific.”
“Those people who say it won’t be good hockey because it’s only half a season don’t know what they’re talking about,” he said.
“Don’t you remember the last time it was half a season and New Jersey won the Cup? It was a sprint not a marathon. Play within their own conference. Lots of action. The guys know every game is important. Won’t have the half season blahs.”
The CBA talks won’t resume before Christmas, but they might restart shortly after that.
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?