Los Angeles Kings v Chicago Blackhawks

Jonathan Quick is medically cleared to play


When Jonathan Quick underwent, in the Kings’ words, a “minor surgical procedure” for an inflammatory cyst and a disc fragment back in August, the expectation was that Quick would be available around the start of training camp.

Of course, they meant when training camp was originally supposed to begin. Still, with the lockout about to end, Quick has finally received medical clearance, according to the Los Angeles Times’ Helene Elliott.

The timing of his injury and recovery meant that Quick continued to receive payments on his $1.7 million annual salary during the work stoppage. Those paychecks will balloon in 2013-14 when his 10-year, $58 million deal kicks in.

Quick was, of course, a huge part of the Kings’ Stanley Cup-winning run and it would have been a serious challenge for them to live up to expectations through the first half of the season without him.

Then again, it would have been an opportunity for backup goaltender Jonathan Bernier to show what he can do. As it is, the Bernier trade rumors should heat up again now that the season has been saved.

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.