If the New York Islanders want to make the playoffs, they need to be near perfect for the remainder of the season. They didn’t look anything close to that in their 4-2 loss to the lowly Calgary Flames last night.
“We basically find ways to lose games more than we find ways to win,” Islanders captain John Tavares remarked after the defeat, according to Newsday.
This has to have been a tough season to get through for Tavares. He’s one of the league’s best players, but a campaign that started out with a lot of promise has turned sour. Not only are the Islanders likely to miss the playoffs, but their efforts to re-sign forward Thomas Vanek and defenseman Andrew MacDonald have been unsuccessful.
At least Tavares will get a brief reprieve when the NHL breaks and he heads to Sochi to play for Team Canada in the 2014 Winter Olympics. It will be his first Olympics and a chance to win gold with his home country.
Of course, Canada is far from a lock to win the tournament, but at least they have hope and a legitimate shot. Those are things that the Islanders can’t offer him at this point.
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?