Washington Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner (27) lays on the ice after he was hit by Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Richard Panik (71), of Slovakia, in the second period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013, in Washington. Panik received a five-minute penalty for boarding, and Washington Capitals right wing Alex Ovechkin scored two goals on that power play. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Panik suspended two games for boarding Alzner


Tampa Bay forward Richard Panik has been suspended two games for boarding Washington’s Karl Alzner on Tuesday night, the NHL has announced.

At 16:31 of the second period, Panik hit Alzner in the neutral zone, driving him into the boards. Alzner was temporarily shaken up, but returned in the third period while Panik was assessed a five-minute boarding major on the play.

“Just as Alzner dumps the puck and while in a very vulnerable position at a dangerous distance from the boards, Panik checks him in the numbers, causing a violent collision with the boards,” the NHL’s Department of Player Safety explained.

Here’s the video:

Mitigating factors for the suspension length included Alzner going uninjured on the play, and Panik’s clean history with regards to player discipline.

Panik will now miss Tampa Bay’s next two games — Thursday against Detroit, Saturday vs. New Jersey — eligible to return to the lineup on Sunday (also against the Red Wings.) Additionally, Panik will forfeit $7,589.74 in salary to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

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.