The NHLPA and Mike Richards aren’t going to go quietly when it comes to the veteran center’s terminated contract.
The Players Association announced Monday that they have filed a grievance on behalf of Richards regarding his contract with the Los Angeles Kings, which was terminated June 29. The terminated deal was a 12-year, $69 million contract Richards had signed in December 2007 as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers.
Entering the off-season, it was expected that Richards, 30, would receive a buyout on the remaining five years and $22 million he was owed by the Kings. However, the termination saw it possible for Los Angeles to get out from under the $5.75 million cap hit and be subject to only a $1.32 million recapture penalty for the next five seasons.
The shocking contract termination came as the result of an alleged incident at the U.S.-Canada border. At the time, the Kings cited the deal being terminated on the grounds of a “material breach” by Richards. Read more
Jarret Stoll’s time is done in the City of Angels, and the veteran center is heading to the Big Apple.
According to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, Stoll and the New York Rangers have come to terms on a one-year deal worth $800,000, which is a far cry from the three-year, $9.75 million contract Stoll is coming off of with the Los Angeles Kings.
The World Cup of Hockey is still a year away, but Team USA now has its management in place. Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi will serve as GM of the squad, with Philadelphia Flyers president Paul Holmgren as assistant GM, Calgary Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke as senior advisor and USA Hockey assistant executive director Jim Johansson as director of hockey operations.
While the Nashville Predators matched a 14-year, $110-million offer sheet for captain Shea Weber from the Philadelphia Flyers in July 2012, he’s remained the subject of annual off-season trade speculation.
Weber’s value to the Predators and the expense of his contract are usually cited as reasons why he won’t be dealt, but Yahoo Sports’ Josh Cooper believes the time could be right to trade him within the next year. Among the factors justifying this move includes the potential for a strong return, the expense of re-signing Filip Forsberg and Seth Jones next year and the possibility the 29-year-old defenseman’s performance could be about to decline.
Unlike most stars of Weber’s caliber, he lacks a no-trade clause in his contract. The Predators can entertain offers from around the league and ship him anywhere without his consent. Read more
If hockey doesn’t work out for Adrian Kempe, perhaps a career in fashion is in order. The 18-year-old Swede made a bold clothing statement after Game 3 of the AHL’s Eastern final in Hartford. Walking out of the dressing room in suit and tie, Kempe dropped his flip-flops on the ground, put them on, took a quick picture of his ensemble to post on Twitter, and walked across the street to the team hotel.
While the zany Kempe made the mistake of not packing dress shoes for the two-day road trip, what he did on the ice helped fans and teammates alike forget what he did off it. Carrying a 2-0 series lead versus the Wolf Pack onto the road, Kempe scored in Games 3 and 4, as his Manchester Monarchs swept their way into the Calder Cup final. Kempe was named the No. 1 star of the series-clinching game.
Having completed his season in the Swedish League, the Los Angeles Kings’ 2014 first-round pick embarked on a journey across the pond, where he joined the NHL club’s primary affiliate in Manchester, which sat in first place for nearly the entire AHL season. In his second game, Kempe lined up on the first line, centered by all-star Jordan Weal. Read more
Thanks to the (literally) tireless efforts of Conn Smythe winner Duncan Keith, the Chicago Blackhawks claimed their third Stanley Cup in six seasons, dusting off the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games.
Keith, who played an otherworldly average of 31 minutes per game in the post-season, scored the game-winning goal by following up his own rebound on Bolts goalie Ben Bishop. Patrick Kane, who always seems to come through in big contests, added the dagger on a beauty feed from Brad Richards.
In terms of sentiment, it was hard to beat captain Jonathan Toews passing the Cup off to Kimmo Timonen, whose career and life almost ended in the summer due to blood clots. Instead, the Finnish D-man ended his career a champion.
Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov has begun to serve his 90-day sentence, but he’s not in any old prison.
According to the Los Angeles Times’ Nathan Fenno, Voynov, who was handed down a 90-day after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor count of corporal injury to a spouse, has spent the past 23 days in the Seal Beach Police Detention Center in Seal Beach, Calif. The detention center, which has 30 beds, costs Voynov $100 per day, and allowed him to bring in personal items including, “an inexpensive watch, five photographs and up to $100 in cash for purchases from the commissary.”
As part of Voynov’s plea deal, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Eric C. Taylor allowed the Kings blueliner to choose which prison he would serve his sentence at. He chose Seal Beach and entered the facility on July 7. Read more
Parity in the modern-day NHL creates such a delicate balance between teams that one year’s powerhouse is the next year’s dud, and vice versa. Just ask the Colorado Avalanche, who went from Central Division champs to out of the playoffs, or the Calgary Flames, who went from rebuilding team to round 2 of the post-season.
In all, 2014-15 swapped Calgary, Nashville, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Washington, the New York Islanders and Ottawa into the playoffs, with Colorado, Los Angeles, Dallas, San Jose, Boston, Columbus, and Philadelphia falling out. That’s seven new teams out of 16, or 43.75 percent.
With that crazy stat in mind, which 2014-15 post-season qualifiers might slide out in 2015-16? And which teams might take their places? I’ve chosen three candidates in each category.