The NHL is still evaluating two controversial incidents from Sunday night’s Los Angeles-Phoenix game, a league spokesman said on Monday.
The incidents, which occurred during Phoenix’s 4-2 win, came with eight minutes left in the opening frame.
Kings forward Jordan Nolan leveled Coyotes defenseman Rostislav Klesla with a hit — one that resulted in Klesla being stretchered off the ice.
Nolan was given two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct and, of note, had been penalized for roughing earlier in the period.
Following the hit on Klesla, ‘Yotes forward Paul Bissonnette left the Phoenix bench to engage in a fight with Nolan, and was given a game misconduct.
Leaving the bench for a fight calls for an automatic 10-game suspension, according to rule 70.10.
Nolan insisted the check was clean, and Kings head coach Darryl Sutter said it was “a good hit.”
Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett thought otherwise.
“It seemed to me like a guy got hit in the head and a player left his feet,” Tippett said afterward. “That’s not for me to diagnose, the league does a good job of those and when they feel like there is a violation they take action.
“So, the league will look at it and we will go from there.”
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?