With just one year remaining on his contract before Henrik Lundqvist can become an unrestricted free agent, it’s understandable that Rangers fans are anxious to hear that their star goalie has been signed to an extension.
So far, that hasn’t happened.
But while assistant general manager Jeff Gorton didn’t have much in the way of an update on the Lundqvist contract situation, he did share some encouraging words today at Yankee Stadium.
“Henrik wants to be here and we want Henrik,” Gorton said, per The Record. “At the end of the day it shouldn’t be too difficult to get a deal done.”
It’s expected that Lundqvist will become the NHL’s highest-paid goalie when he signs his new deal, surpassing the top current cap hit of $7 million that belongs to both Pekka Rinne and Tuukka Rask.
As for restricted free agent Derek Stepan, Gorton was equally optimistic at the prospect of getting the young center under contract.
“We fully expect to have something by the time we’re in camp,” said Gorton.
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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.
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?