The Los Angeles Kings defended their 2012 Stanley Cup crown valiantly in the 2013 Western Conference finals, but the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Chicago Blackhawks won it in the end. Patrick Kane’s hat trick gave Chicago a 4-3 win in double OT, taking the series in five games.
What do you think?
- Well, that was quite a way for Patrick Kane to really shed all the struggling talk. Can the Boston Bruins keep the crafty, offensively gifted winger under wraps?
- Let’s extend that question further: can Boston curtail Chicago’s second-best offense after holding the Pittsburgh Penguins to an astounding two goals in four games? How would you use Boston’s best players, such as Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci?
- Should the Kings be satisfied with the way they defended the title? If you were to change any of their moves or major decisions, what would they be?
- Is it still too early to consider Corey Crawford legitimate? Perhaps last season’s rough ride was a mere bump in the road.
- The Bruins and Blackhawks stared elimination in the eye in a serious way during the postseason. Will those experiences serve them well as the spotlight shines the brightest?
- How would you rate a Chicago vs. Boston series, from an entertainment perspective?
- OK, the obvious question: who do you expect to win? The Bruins will try to play the underdog card, but it will be pretty tough to hammer that point too hard after they dominated Pittsburgh.
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?