Calgary coach has ‘big plans’ for first-rounder Monahan


When the Flames took Sean Monahan sixth overall at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, they figured they drafting for the future.

Turns out they might’ve been drafting for the present.

Monahan, 18, has impressed head coach Bob Hartley throughout training camp and preseason games, leading Hartley to suggest Monahan is factoring into Calgary’s plans for this season.

“For such a young centreman, I think he’s adapting real well to NHL hockey,” Hartley told the Calgary Herald. “He still has things to learn which is perfectly normal for any kids that age.

“He doesn’t get rattled. He’s very poised. We have big plans for this young man.”

Monahan has a lot going for him at the moment.

At 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, he’s got the size to play in the NHL straight away. He’s also got relatively light competition at the center position, as Calgary may be the league’s weakest club down the middle (Mikael Backlund, Matt Stajan, T.J. Galiardi, Max Reinhart and Corban Knight.)

Monahan’s also playing extremely well at the moment. He scored twice in a 4-2 win over the Islanders on Tuesday, putting pressure on Hartley and Flames GM Jay Feaster to keep Monahan from going back to OHL Ottawa.

“There are some kids that put money in the bank tonight,” Hartley said. “I don’t know how long it’s going to take them, but some kids were really impressive.”

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.