The Edmonton Oilers are keeping their blue line intact for at least one more year.
The Oilers announced they’ve re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Jeff Petry to a one-year deal. Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reports the deal is worth just under $3.1 million.
Petry, 26, will be an unrestricted free agent next summer because of his age and it being just a one-year contract. Last season, he had seven goals and 17 points in 80 games and led the team in hits and blocked shots.
It may be a short stay for Petry in Edmonton. A one-year contract and the ability to become an unrestricted free agent makes him a prime target to be moved by the trade deadline next season.
While the Oilers defense hasn’t been great in recent years, they added Nikita Nikitin, Mark Fayne, and Keith Aulie in free agency this summer and have young players like Martin Marincin and Darnell Nurse aiming for prime time with the team. That means Petry’s future could see him on another roster even before free agency hits next summer.
The Los Angeles Kings and Mike Richards may be nearing a settlement in their dispute over Richards’ terminated contract, TSN’s Bob McKenzie is reporting.
You can read the report for all the details, but we’re sure curious about this part:
If a settlement is reached, there’s no word yet on what salary cap penalties the Kings would still face. There’s bound to be something, but not likely as onerous as the full value of Richards’ contract, which carries with it a cap hit of $5.75 million. If there’s a settlement, Richards would undoubtedly become a free agent though there’s no telling at this point what monies he would be entitled to from the Kings in a settlement.
The issue here is precedent, and what this case could set. The NHL and NHLPA can’t allow teams to escape onerous contracts through a back door, and many are adamant that that’s what the Kings were attempting to do in Richards’ case.
The NHL wants to take an educational approach — not a punitive one — to deter its players from using illicit drugs like cocaine.
“My interest is not to go around punishing people,” Bettman told Sportsnet today.
“My interest is getting players to understand the consequences of doing something that could jeopardize this great, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that they’ve been given, to play in the NHL.”
While some players have expressed surprise at hearing that cocaine use is growing, the anecdotal evidence of substance abuse has been very much in the news, from Jarret Stoll‘s arrest to Mike Richards’ arrest to, more recently, Zack Kassian‘s placement in the NHL/NHLPA’s treatment program.
“We don’t have the unilateral right to do things here. We need the consent of the Players’ Association,” Bettman said. “It’s not about punishment. It’s about making sure we get it to stop.”
Related: Cocaine in the NHL: A concern, but not a crisis?