Mats Zuccarello

Zuccarello has a non-displaced fracture in his hand


The Olympics turned out to be a rough one for Norway’s Mats Zuccarello and now the New York Rangers will have to deal with the aftermath.

According to a report out of Norway, the hand injury that knocked Zuccarello out of action against Russia is a non-displaced fracture.

Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants says the Rangers said an MRI out of Russia confirmed the injury and he’ll be reevaluated on Thursday by a team medical consultant.

The injury comes at a most unfortunate time for both Zuccarello and the Rangers. This season, he leads the team in points with 43 and is tied with Brad Richards for second on the team in goals behind Rick Nash.

The Rangers are in second place in the Metropolitan Division but are 16 points behind Pittsburgh for first. If they’re without Zuccarello for a length of time, they’ll need to see someone else step up offensively to fill his shoes.

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.