Could the Minnesota Wild be making a big deadline push?
That appears to be the case, according to Mike Russo of the Minnesota Star-Tribune, who reports the Wild have contacted Buffalo about captain Jason Pominville.
From the Star-Tribune:
The Wild is making calls and I do hear it is one of many teams that has been talking to Buffalo the past few days about captain Jason Pominville.
I know the Wild has scouted Buffalo recently, too.
Russo also notes that of the eight teams Pominville said he would not accept a trade to, Minnesota is not one of them.
So, technically, the Wild are in play.
What remains to be seen, however, is if the Wild are willing to 1) part with assets and 2) take on Pominville’s deal. The 30-year-old forward has this and next season left on his five-year, $26.5 million contract, and carries an annual cap hit of $5.3 million.
According to Capgeek, the Wild have 16 players under contract for $51 million next season — with the cap ceiling dropping to $64.3 million — but still have some big decisions to make regarding pending UFAs like Niklas Backstrom, Matt Cullen and Pierre-Marc Bouchard.
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?