Minnesota Wild prospect Matt Dumba is primed to make his NHL debut against the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
The 19-year-old was selected seventh overall in the 2012 NHL Draft. His parents will be on hand.
All warm and fuzzy feelings aside, the defenseman wants to carry over an impressive preseason into high-level action for the Wild. Head coach Mike Yeo seems eager to see if he can pull it off.
“I’m excited for him,” Yeo said. “This guy’s a big part of our future. He’s had a really strong camp, so I’m excited to get him there and see how he goes out and performs at this time of year. We’ve seen it. We saw it Game 1 for us, the pace of play, the intensity picks up right now, so you want to see how he handles that.”
Dumba had a great 2012-13 season in the WHL, scoring 42 points in 62 games for the Red Deer Rebels. He also got his feel wet with the AHL’s Houston Aeros, though he failed to register a point in three regular season and five postseason games at that level.
Who knows how many games he’ll get a crack at with the Wild this year; a lot of that depends on his short-term work and the team’s long-term plans.
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?