Rocco Grimaldi

Team USA wins World Junior gold, beats Sweden 3-1


Team USA’s quest for gold is fulfilled.

The United States took out defending champion Sweden 3-1 in the gold medal game of the World Junior Championships to win their first gold since 2010. Panthers prospect Rocco Grimaldi scored twice and fellow Florida prospect Vince Trocheck iced it with an empty net goal late in the third to seal the game.

Ducks prospect goalie John Gibson played strong once again in goal stopping 26 shots on his way to earning the tournament’s MVP award. Gibson is the first goalie to be named MVP since 2008 when Canada’s Steve Mason took those honors.

All in all, four Team USA players landed on the all-tournament team with Gibson, Jacob Trouba (Winnipeg), Johnny Gaudreau (Calgary), and Jake McCabe (Buffalo) earning honors. Canada’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Sweden’s Filip Forsberg (Washington) were also named to the team.

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.