James Neal #18 of the Pittsburgh Penguins takes a shot in the first period against the New Jersey Devils during the home opener at Consol Energy Center on October 3, 2013 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Penguins defeated the Devils 3-0.
(October 2, 2013 - Source: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images North America)

PHT Morning Skate: Neal hopes to ‘do different things’ now that time’s served


PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

James Neal feels he “can do different things” now that he’s served his five-game suspension. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $4,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Thursday’s NHL games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $1,000. Starts Thursday at 7:00 p.m. ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

After firing former Flames GM Jay Feaster, team president Brian Burke reached out to Boston College prospects Johnny Gaudreau and Bill Arnold to make sure they know that they are still part of Calgary’s long-term plans. (Calgary Sun)

Questions were raised about the Columbus Blue Jackets’ toughness and the strength of their fourth line after it was revealed that Jared Boll might be done for the rest of the season with an ankle injury. (Columbus Dispatch)

Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma thinks that Philip Samuelsson has “developed the most in our organization of any defenseman in the last three years.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Matt Moulson has adapted to life with the Buffalo Sabres. (Sabres.nhl.com)

Colorado Avalanche prospect Joey Hishon talks about his experience with a concussion that sidelined him for 22 months. (CBC)

Highlights from Pittsburgh’s 4-3 shootout win over the New York Rangers:

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.