Reports: Capitals indeed sign Grabovski for one year


It appears that the rumors are true: the Washington Capitals signed Mikhail Grabovski to a one-year deal on Thursday, TSN’s Aaron Ward reports. The official confirmation might come a little later, however.

(Puck Daddy’s Dmitry Chesnokov also reports that it’s a one-year deal.)

Bargain shopping?

Belorussian sports outlet Pressball pegs the contract at $3 million, but it’s unclear if that will end up being the final amount.

If that is true, the Capitals got a steal of a deal. The Toronto Maple Leafs bought out Grabovski’s previous deal, which was worth $5.5 million per season, so it’s hard to look at this as anything but a discount.

Yes, it’s easy to imagine a player taking less money on top of the money he’s getting paid not to play for a different team, but Grabovski is younger than other buyout victims at 29. (Example: Vincent Lecavalier is 33 and suffered far more injury problems.)

The Caps could very well be signing a guy who could be a part of the mix if he passes what serves as a cheap “audition.”

Mixed reviews

Toronto fans will likely give a wide variety of assessments regarding Grabovski. “Advanced stats” inclined onlookers tout Grabovski as a versatile player who was used improperly by Randy Carlyle in 2013. Others will bash him for his unkind words for his former coach and will give him less benefit of the doubt in general.

However you might feel about Grabovski, it’s tough to blame the Capitals for taking a relatively low-risk shot at him, especially if the price is $3 million.

Replacing Ribeiro

That’s some nice savings compared to last season’s second-line center, Mike Ribeiro. Perhaps Grabovski won’t average close to a point per game like Ribeiro did last season, yet many would argue that he’ll better help Washington win more puck possession battles and give them a more versatile option. (It’s also possible that Ribeiro wouldn’t be able to maintain that level of play in 2013-14 and beyond.)

He also allows Brooks Laich to settle into a more comfortable third-line center position (depending upon how head coach Adam Oates assesses the line situations).

This signing reminds some of the Capitals grabbing Tomas Vokoun for a cheap deal in 2011. While that didn’t work out as well as some expected, it’s still a potentially shrewd move for Washington.

If nothing else, it should be fun to watch the Capitals visit Toronto on Nov. 23.

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.