Tomas Kopecky

Dineen says Panthers deserve the worst record in the NHL


The Florida Panthers lost again last night.

Check that: they lost badly again last night.

The 5-2 defeat in Tampa Bay was the Panthers’ fifth straight loss, a stretch that’s seen them outscored by a 23-5 margin.

After the game, Florida head coach Kevin Dineen was asked if his team deserved to be 1-5-0, which happens to be the worst record in the NHL.

“I think so,” Dineen said, per the Sun-Sentinel.

“Our record is fairly accurate of what we played the last four games. I hate to say it, we deserve to be where we are right now. I like the fact we have people in here that for a lot of us it’s a little bit of foreign territory. It’s a matter of us deciding how we’re going to deal with it and we will.”

Dineen’s remarks were somewhat more measured than the ones he made after Saturday’s 7-1 loss to the Flyers — a performance he called “embarrassing” and “atrocious.”

The Panthers were a surprise playoff team last season, winning the subpar Southeast Division with a 38-26-18 record. In the first round, they nearly eliminated the eventual Stanley Cup finalists New Jersey Devils, losing Games 6 and 7 in overtime.

But the playoffs seem like a long shot after just six games of the 2013 season. More likely is another high draft pick to add to their collection.

The fact the Panthers have the league’s worst goals-against average (4.00) also begs the question: Should GM Dale Tallon make a trade for Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo?

Florida hosts Winnipeg Thursday.

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.