It was the first big trade in the days before the NHL Draft, and it caught Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux by complete surprise.
The Flyers dealt left winger Scott Hartnell to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for R.J. Umberger and a 2015 fourth-round pick on Monday.
“I personally didn’t see it coming,” Giroux told Nicholas Cotsonika of Yahoo Sports. “I heard a lot of rumors and stuff, but I just didn’t believe it. I mean, [Hartnell is] a good guy. He’s one of the best teammates I ever had. It’s a sad day.
“He was almost the face of the Flyers. He was a fan favorite. Everywhere he went, he loved the city. I’m sure it’s a tough day for him to kind of put that behind him, but Columbus is going to be a good opportunity for him.”
While Giroux was a little stunned, Hartnell expressed some anger with news of the deal, having known for some time that something was in the works.
“He decided it was best for me to move on from the Flyers,” said Hartnell. “To be honest, I was pretty shocked at first. I was upset and a little angry. I took a few days to look at the situation. It was hard.”
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?