Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown was handed a minor charging penalty after knocking into the head of Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Ryan Murray at 5:16 of the second period of Thursday’s game.
It looks like that will be the extent of his punishment as the NHL doesn’t plan to hold a hearing over the incident, according to the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline.
Although Brown clearly nailed Murray’s head, it didn’t look like Brown’s feet left the ice before he made contact and Murray’s moving downwards prior to the hit. Those might have been factors in the NHL’s decision.
You can see the hit below:
“It’s a fine hit…At this point, I don’t know if we’re allowed to hit anymore,” said Brown after the game.
Meawnhile, Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards suggested that Brown took advantage of a vulnerable player.
Murray spent some time in the dressing room, but ultimately finished the game. Still, Richards was quick to caution that he might not be out of the woods yet.
“Even though (Murray) came back, you never know what tomorrow morning is going to bring,” Richards told the Columbus Dispatch.
The Blue Jackets will face the San Jose Sharks tonight.
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?