Colorado Avalanche v Anaheim Ducks

Stastny (back) returns to Avalanche lineup against Wild

Paul Stastny is expected to return to the Colorado Avalanche lineup tonight in the back half of a home-and-home series against the Minnesota Wild.

Stastny missed Colorado’s last two games due to back spasms, but skated this morning, ahead of tonight’s game, according the Avalanche website.

“I should be fine. Just kind of a day-to-day thing acted up a little bit. I didn’t want to push it and try to come back too early and not finish a game, so tonight will be good,” Stastny told the Avalanche website.

“[Back spasms are] something I’ve dealt with for awhile, so to me it’s all about maintaining certain things away from the ice. Sometimes I’ve got to do better.”

In 22 games this season, Stastny has eight goals and 17 points. The Avalanche have won four of their last five games, including Friday’s 3-1 decision over the Wild.

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.

Report: Ex-NHLer Aaron Ward arrested for ‘assault on a female’ (Updated)

Brad May, Kevin Hodson, Jiri Fischer, Aaron Ward

Aaron Ward, a 16-year NHL veteran that appeared in over 800 career games, has been arrested for “assault on a female,” per WNCN.

Ward was arrested on Friday in Cary, North Carolina and also charged with interfering with emergency communication, according to the report.

Currently working as an analyst for TSN, Ward spent five years of his career in Carolina, helping the ‘Canes capture the Stanley Cup in 2006.

Update: Per WRAL, Ward’s wife called 9-1-1 after the two had a confrontation around 1 p.m. ET. Police confirmed Ward was arrested at his home in Cary.

According to the warrant for his arrest, he took away his wife’s phone.

Because of the nature of his charges, Ward will spend a mandatory 48 hours in the Wake County jail. Anyone arrested on a domestic violence charge is held for 48 hours before bail is set.

And here’s a statement from TSN: