ANAHEIM, CA - NOVEMBER 06: Lauri Korpikoski #28 of the Phoenix Coyotes skates against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on November 6, 2013 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Korpikoski (upper body) back after month-long absence

It looks like the struggling Phoenix Coyotes will get some extra help for this afternoon’s match against the Ottawa Senators.

Lauri Korpikoski has been activated off of the injured reserve list and is projected to return today, reports the Phoenix Coyotes’ Dave Vest. He hasn’t played since Nov. 16 due to an upper-body problem.

Korpikoski will try to pick up right where he left off, as he had three goals and five points in his last four contests prior to the ailment. The 27-year-old isn’t one of the team’s top players, but he’s a physical forward that can chip in offensively. His presence will be particularly useful while Shane Doan recovers from a serious disease.

The Coyotes have found the back of the net just once in each of their last three games and have consequently lost all of those contests. They’ll try to reverse that trend to prevent themselves from slipping further in the battle for a Wild Card spot.

Kings grab goalie insurance by signing Budaj

Peter Budaj, Nick Leddy
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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.