Matt Greene was an integral part to the Kings winning the Stanley Cup last season, but if he wants to help the team repeat as winners, he’s got to show his coach he can play.
Darryl Sutter tells Jon Rosen of L.A. Kings Insider that he likes the way his lineup is playing and Greene won’t just be given a spot in the defense’s top six when he gets healthy because of what he’s done.
“Well, first off, he’s got to get cleared. He doesn’t have one second of contact, so that’s not even close. And, quite honest, if he’s not ready to play three or four games, and if we made the playoffs, I’d have trouble putting him in for sure. He played, what, a few minutes of the year. So it’s not about ‘what you did’. It’s ‘what you’re doing’. It’s very simple. I mean, he’s going to have to play three or four games, very simple, otherwise I could not be comfortable with it.”
See, it’s simple you guys.
With the way the Kings’ defense is playing now it makes all the sense in the world to not go and mess things up. Jake Muzzin is having a career-year even in a short season, and acquisitions Keaton Ellerby and Robyn Regehr have fit in well.
Hey, maybe if the Kings do make the playoffs and go to the Cup finals again, Greene can pull a Simon Gagne and sneak into the lineup anyhow. I might be getting a bit ahead of things there.
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?