Oilers arena

Oilers look to Pittsburgh and Columbus for arena inspiration


Oilers president and CEO Patrick LaForge believes Edmonton’s new downtown arena, expected to be ready in time for the 2016-17 NHL season, will “easily be the best in the world.”

Via Sportsnet, LaForge says the new rink will incorporate the best that other buildings around the league have to offer.

Pittsburgh’s Consol Energy Center and Columbus’ Nationwide Arena are two buildings the Oilers are using to inspire their own unique design.

“We’ve been in and out of their facilities so many times,” said LaForge, “and have taken so much of their architects’ and their hockey peoples’ recommendations on what should and shouldn’t be. Size, dimension, use…

“And the other part is, we’ve been taking a lot of notes on all the things we shouldn’t do. I think we’ve got the Bible kind of put together now.”

The journey to build a new, modern rink for the Oilers has been a long one. Last week, Edmonton city council finally approved a funding model for the $480 million facility.

With the Islanders set to move into the Barclays Center in 2015, the Detroit Red Wings and Calgary Flames have moved to the top of the list of NHL teams that desire new buildings.

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.