NHL suspends Matt Cooke for seven games


The Minnesota Wild will be without Matt Cooke for seven games after the NHL suspended him for his knee-on-knee hit to Colorado defenseman Tyson Barrie on Monday.

The NHL’s Department of Player Safety noted that the play was “entirely in front of Cooke” so the onus was on the Wild forward. The league also feels that Cooke should have anticipated Barrie’s desire to evade contact. Instead, Cooke further extended his leg “to ensure contact.”

The NHL cited the distance Cooke traveled to strike Barrie with his knee and the further extension of his knee as factors contributing to his punishment. However, Cooke’s history was also cited as justification for giving him seven games.

Cooke is not a repeat offender under the new CBA, but the league believes that it has the right to consider a player’s entire history when determining what punishment is appropriate.

Barrie, 22, is out four-to-six weeks with a MCL injury.


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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.