Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Lisa Dillman of the LA Times,
Everyone knows Kings Coach Darryl Sutter loves to play youngsters. That is sarcasm — but Sutter might have no choice.
General Manager Dean Lombardi has noted that the Kings don't have a lot of cap space to make a big move, which is why they weren't able to keep "rental defenseman" Andrej Sekera, who went to the Edmonton Oilers for a six-year, $33-million deal, or veteran Justin Williams. The forward went to the Eastern Conference, joining the Washington Capitals for a two-year deal worth $6.5 million.
There are two problematic issues for the Kings, the first concerning center Mike Richards, whose contract has been terminated by the club. But the expectation is that the NHL Players' Assn. will appeal that move. Until the matter is resolved, the Kings won't know their options for sure. If worst came to worst, they could always put him in the minors indefinitely.
Equally problematic is the situation revolving around defenseman Slava Voynov. After pleading no contest to a misdemeanor in the wake of a domestic violence charge, Voynov has been sentenced to 90 days in jail, meaning there is a chance he could still be unavailable as the Kings prepare to start their regular season Oct. 7 against the San Jose Sharks.
Complicating matters, he is still recovering from surgery for a torn Achilles' tendon and the league still needs to conduct its investigation into the domestic violence incident.
So the uncertainty over the futures of Voynov and Richards will keep the Kings in limbo for the foreseeable future.
more on the Kings...
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
Those who say it's punishment enough that Voynov was suspended most of last season and must serve jail time and probation, perform community service and go through a domestic violence prevention program should focus on the nature of the incident. If the Kings give him another chance, they would be making it a "gimme" and diminish its magnitude.
Varlamova told Redondo Beach police Voynov punched her in the jaw, choked her three times, pushed her to the ground, kicked her and shoved her into the corner of a flat-screen TV, resulting in a 1.2-inch gash above her left eye. He accepted responsibility for his actions, remember? That should not be forgotten.
The Kings can terminate his contract, trade him, or keep him with the team. Here's a vote for one of the first two options.
That he's a top-four defenseman isn't reason enough to keep him. It's irrelevant. He doesn't deserve to wear their uniform and they shouldn't grant him that privilege.
from Eric Macramalla at Forbes,
... However, let’s assume the Kings terminated the Richards contract after learning he was arrested in connection with the unlawful possession of OxyContin.
If that’s the case, expect the Kings to have a tough time upholding the termination of the Richards contract in the event the NHLPA files a grievance....
Why the uphill battle for the Kings? The reason is the NHL/NHLPA Substance Abuse And Behavioral Health Program Policy.
This Drug Policy sets out specific drug treatment protocols that must be followed in the case of an arrest or conviction related to drugs. Since it was collectively bargained between the Union and the NHL, adhering to the Drug Policy is not optional for teams; it’s mandatory. For example, a team cannot simply elect to ignore the collectively bargained terms for the sake of convenience. The whole idea behind the Drug Policy is to get players the help they need. The focus of the Drug Policy is ultimately rehabilitative and not punitive.
Any departure from collectively bargained terms may be met with a grievance.
LOS ANGELES – Earlier today, Slava Voynov entered a no-contest plea to a single misdemeanor, domestic violence charge. The Los Angeles Kings have issued the following statement relating to this development:
“We believe the legal system has effectively resolved this matter and the punishment is fair and just. Any act of domestic violence is unacceptable. As an organization, the prevention of domestic violence and the education of our players and employees is of paramount importance. We will continue to actively develop and implement a strategy to deliver this message. We remain steadfast in our support of the National Hockey League as they now begin their own investigative process. Until that is complete we will withhold further comment.”
added 2:50pm, more via Hammond tweet,
DA says conviction will result in Voynov deportation. Defense is objecting to that, saying it is not mandatory. Some debate.
Judge clarifies that possible Voynov deportation is a matter for immigration court, not this court.
added 2:52pm, Hammond...
Judge has accepted plea agreement.
from Katie Strang of ESPN,
Mike Richards, whose contract has been terminated by the Los Angeles Kings, is part of an ongoing investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for an off-ice incident, a source told ESPN.com on Tuesday.
A spokesperson for the RCMP in Manitoba told ESPN that, as of Tuesday, no charges have been brought against Richards but declined to comment further.
The source said that Canadian Border Services is also involved in the investigation, but a spokesperson declined comment, citing Canadian privacy laws.
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Kings have terminated the contract of forward Mike Richards, the club announced today.
The club has issued the following statement and will not comment any further at this time:
“The Los Angeles Kings today have exercised the team's right to terminate the contract of Mike Richards for a material breach of the requirements of his Standard Player's Contract. We are not prepared to provide any more detail or to discuss the underlying grounds for the contract termination at this time.”
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
- The Kings still have interest in re-signing UFA blueliner Andrej Sekera and perhaps with the Mike Richards buyout they can find enough cap space to do so. But if not, it’s believed 10 teams have shown interest.
- Drew Stafford's agent Steve Bartlett said Monday morning that he continues to talk with the Winnipeg Jets but doesn’t have a deal done. Stafford was a good fit there as a trade deadline pickup but finding the right parameters to stay put is always a challenge. Still, I hope this one gets done, sometimes the fit is more important than just making as much money as possible. Stafford looks good on that roster.
many more updates during this busy time...
from Lisa Dillman of the LA Times,
Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi's big moment came away from the draft floor with the Lucic trade.
"I do think every player on our team just grew three inches and put on 10 pounds of muscle," Lombardi said Friday on a conference call. "So that don't hurt."
The Bruins also will pick up $2.75 million of Lucic's $6-million salary for next season, no small issue in a world constrained by salary caps. Boston drafted Lucic, and he won a Stanley Cup with the Bruins in 2011 but realized his days with the rebuilding organization were numbered when he started hearing trade rumors.
"I had a lot of mixed emotions in the last 48 hours," Lucic said in a telephone call from Kelowna, British Columbia. "I kind of had that nervous, anxious, excited, sad, all-in-one feeling, going on in my stomach this morning. Like something big was going to happen."
Lombardi, whose team missed the playoffs this past season after winning the Stanley Cup in 2014, looked at his organizational charts and boxes and seized the chance to check the power-forward/left wing box.
"It's the Clark Gillies, Bryan Trottier, Mike Bossy-type trio that most people think is the ultimate-type line," Lombardi said of the Islanders icons. "We also wondered whether Gabby [Marian Gaborik] was better on the right [wing].
"To get a player like Clark Gillies, there's not many like this in the league, that can play with top players and bring that element."
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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