Jonathan Huberdeau #11 of the Florida Panthers celebrates his goal against the Carolina Hurricanes at the BB&T Center on January 19, 2013 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)

PHT Morning Skate: Where rookies take center stage

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Dave Nonis hasn’t made any major moves since taking over as the Toronto Maple Leafs’ general manager. That might change as the trade deadline approaches. (National Post)

With the Calgary Flames hopes of making the playoffs rapidly diminishing, the pressure is on going into tonight’s game against the Los Angeles Kings. (Calgary Sun)

Forward Marcus Johansson was among the Washington Capitals’ best players in his return from a concussion on Sunday. (CSN Washington)

Florida Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau is arguably the top contender for the Calder Trophy at the halfway point of the season. (

The Ottawa Senators has put enforcer Chris Neil on a line with 19-year-olds Mika Zibanejad and Mark Stone. That’s allowed the two rookies to focus a little less on playing a physical game. (Ottawa Citizen)

With Patrick Sharp (shoulder) sidelined, who should take top-six forward spot with the Chicago Blackhawks? (Chicago Sun-Times)

Forward Tyler Toffoli has excelled in his first full AHL season with 28 goals and 48 points in 55 games. The Los Angeles Kings promoted him on Sunday, so it might not be long before the 20-year-old makes his NHL debut. (

San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan likes the progress that forward Scott Gomez has made lately. (San Jose Mercury News)

You can watch the highlights of the Philadelphia Flyers’ 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres below:

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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.