Brian Burke

Burke takes over in Calgary, but says he won’t be ‘front and center’


Yes, Brian Burke is the Calgary Flames’ new president of hockey operations.

No, that doesn’t mean Jay Feaster isn’t the general manager anymore, or more importantly, that he won’t be deeply involved in making the club’s hockey-related decisions going forward. Which is to say, Feaster is not Calgary’s version of Greg Sherman in Colorado.

“I don’t intend to be front and center,” said Burke at today’s introductory press conference, referring to his position as a “background role” with an “advisory” focus.

“I know people think I need to be driving the bus all the time. I’m actually a very good teammate, too.”

Feaster will, however, report to Burke, who will have “overall responsibility for the sport side” of the organization, according to president and CEO Ken King.

Publicly, Feaster cheered the addition of his new boss, saying, “To be able to tap into that wealth of knowledge on a daily basis is a great thing.”

How the two men work together remains to be seen. But as far as the team is concerned, Burke did say he wanted the Flames to play an entertaining style, with an emphasis on physical play.

“Successful teams in the league are big, we are going to get bigger,” said Burke.

We’ll have more on Burke’s hiring later today, with a look at the challenges he faces in turning around the Flames.


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
Leave a comment

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.