With Jason Spezza out of town, the Ottawa Senators likely turn to 24-year-old forward Kyle Turris as their top center for the 2014-15 season.
Turris believes that the sometimes-painful taste of being a No. 1 center when Spezza was injured in 2011-12 might just serve him well if he’s thrust into that role full-time, as he told the Ottawa Sun.
“This upcoming year, if I’m put into that role again, I think the experience I have now will work in my favor, to know what to expect and how better to prepare for it,” Turris said. “If I get that opportunity I’ll be excited about the challenge, that’s for sure.”
Despite having 2012 Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson, a pair of streaky but potentially difference-making goalies and a talented young power forward in Bobby Ryan, the Senators generally seem like a rebuilding team on paper.
Turris seems to believe that this group is capable of big things, however.
“Oh without question, I think we’ve got a definite playoff team and not just a playoff team, I feel we’ve got a group that can make a run in the playoffs,” said Turris. “I definitely feel we have a real good team.”
The accuracy of that claim will probably hinge on how well Turris handles his expected bump to unquestioned go-to guy.
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?