Doan lobbying Smith to re-sign in Phoenix


Shane Doan will be back with the Coyotes next season.

He hopes Mike Smith is too.

To that end, the Phoenix captain admitted he’s openly lobbied Smith — an unrestricted free agent on July 5 — to re-sign in the desert.

“I didn’t put any undue pressure on him, other than how badly I want to play with him and be with him on my team,” Doan told the Arizona Republic. “I think that’s well-known.”

Doan told the Republic he and Smith crossed paths in Vancouver 10 days ago, at which time Doan made his pitch for Smith to stick with the ‘Yotes.

It’ll be interesting to see what Smith does.

The 31-year-old has enjoyed a career renaissance in Phoenix. He finished fourth in Vezina and 11th in Hart Trophy voting last season, thanks to a stellar campaign in which he won 38 games while posting a 2.21 GAA, .930 save percentage and eight shutouts.

This year, Smith battled through injury to appear in 34 games for Phoenix and while his numbers were down — .910 save percentage, 2.58 GAA — he did post a NHL-high five shutouts.

The former Stars and Lightning goalie is hitting free agency at a strange time. His performance warrants a raise on the two-year, $4 million deal he signed with Phoenix in 2011, but the salary cap is falling to $64.3 million and the goalie market is flush.

Smith, Niklas Backstrom and Evgeni Nabokov are all legit No. 1 netminders that could become UFAs, and the trade market is expected to include the likes of Roberto Luongo, Ryan Miller and Jonathan Bernier.

As for Doan, he’s just hoping Smith chooses Phoenix — and chooses soon.

“It would be huge for us to get our answers and not have to worry about that,” Doan said.

“Nothing would make me happier.”

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.