Colorado Avalanche goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere, 35, ripped into his teammates for not caring enough about winning.
He later apologized for his remarks and it was ultimately too late to spark a season-saving Avalanche turnaround.
Still, if anyone’s going to try and light a fire under his teammates, shouldn’t it have been the team’s captain, Gabriel Landeskog?
“He’s going to be a tremendous captain,” Giguere said in a Denver Post report. “He’s a natural-born leader. He’s been very vocal in the dressing room for us.
“It’s hard. You’re a last-place team and you’re 20 years old and you’re the captain. It’s not easy. Some other guys have to take charge sometimes. It’s not just about him.”
Landeskog is 20 and has played in just 113 career NHL games. Beyond just being the team’s leader, he represents where the Avalanche could be going if their young core’s development goes according to plan.
Regardless, the vast majority of the 2013 squad is already signed through the 2013-14 campaign and that’s part of the reason why Giguere thinks it’s important that they finish the season on a positive note.
“This is the group that will be back. I’m sure there might be changes around the edges and things like that, but most of us probably will be back, and I know we have character in this group,” Giguere said. “But it’s never too early to start a good foundation. Because if you don’t, it’s so hard to get out of a losing mentality and change it.”
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?