Craig MacTavish.

Oilers want to recoup this year’s draft picks, says MacTavish


Edmonton wants back in at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.

“I’d be disappointed if we weren’t able to get our second- or third-rounder back,” Oilers GM Craig MacTavish said on Tuesday. “And, potentially more than that. If we’re sitting at the draft with our first pick and then we’re not picking again until the fourth round, that’d be disappointing.

“That’s exactly what we’re going to try and do — get those picks back.”

Edmonton sent its second-rounder to St. Louis as part of the David Perron trade, and its third-rounder to Los Angeles for Ben Scrivens.

Based on MacTavish’s comments and Edmonton’s last-place standing in the Western Conference, the tea leaves suggest it’s in full-fledged seller mode starting… now. The Oilers do have some veterans that playoff-bound teams might be interested in, like UFA forward Ales Hemsky, who’s in the final year of a deal that pays $5 million annually and is coming off an Olympic performance in which he scored twice in a quarterfinal loss to the U.S.

Defensemen Nick Schultz, Mark Fraser, Denis Grebeshkov and Corey Potter could draw some interest as well. None of the names jump off the page but, according to Pens GM Ray Shero, “adding any NHL defensemen for any team is going to be difficult.” Schultz looks very much like a rental, a veteran of nearly 900 NHL games with 24 playoff contests on his resume.

The big question is if the club will part with Ryan Smyth. A heart-and-soul guy that loves playing in Edmonton, Smyth’s departure seven years ago was gut-wrenching for both himself and the organization, but the unease about moving him could be turned into a PR move, in which Edmonton flips him to a contender, giving Smyth a shot at a Stanley Cup.

However the Edmonton situation plays out, know one thing — MacTavish is once again promising to be active.

“We’re going to be aggressively speaking to teams and letting them know what we’re trying to do, seeing if there’s a fit,” he said.

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.

Report: Ex-NHLer Aaron Ward arrested for ‘assault on a female’ (Updated)

Brad May, Kevin Hodson, Jiri Fischer, Aaron Ward

Aaron Ward, a 16-year NHL veteran that appeared in over 800 career games, has been arrested for “assault on a female,” per WNCN.

Ward was arrested on Friday in Cary, North Carolina and also charged with interfering with emergency communication, according to the report.

Currently working as an analyst for TSN, Ward spent five years of his career in Carolina, helping the ‘Canes capture the Stanley Cup in 2006.

Update: Per WRAL, Ward’s wife called 9-1-1 after the two had a confrontation around 1 p.m. ET. Police confirmed Ward was arrested at his home in Cary.

According to the warrant for his arrest, he took away his wife’s phone.

Because of the nature of his charges, Ward will spend a mandatory 48 hours in the Wake County jail. Anyone arrested on a domestic violence charge is held for 48 hours before bail is set.

And here’s a statement from TSN: