Good evening from Staples Center. Some light pre-game reading:
-Well, maybe this doesn’t qualify as “light.” Following the settlement between the Kings and Mike Richards, Elliotte Friedman reported in today’s 30 Thoughts column that the topic may be addressed at December’s Board of Governor’s meeting.
Privately, other teams are screaming bloody murder and are threatening to make an issue about it at December’s Board of Governors’ meeting. But the NHL is not sympathetic. In a phone conversation, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly pointed out Article 50 of the CBA does have a mechanism for settlements.
“In our view, the Kings had a ‘Bona Fide’ opportunity to win this grievance,” Daly said. “In that case, they would have no cap hit at all. This way, there’s some penalty.”
You can dispute the merits of Daly’s argument, but when an arbitrator gets involved, all bets are off. All summer, I read how courts don’t like to overrule collective bargaining agreements between two parties. That didn’t stop the NFL from getting crushed by Tom Brady. So, who knows?
Richards hasn’t spoken yet, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he pushed for the settlement. No one had more to lose than he did. If the NHLPA loses, everyone who argues for him still gets paid. If the Kings lose, yes the cap takes a hit, but owner Philip Anschutz is still worth $11.6 Billion, according to Forbes.
Friedman also noted that the expected annual cap hit, beginning in 2020-21 and continuing through 2030-31, is roughly “$550,000 per season range on average,” and that Jordan Weal was “likely” part of a package in discussions with Calgary and Edmonton before conversations were halted at the draft. Of course, you already knew this because you’ve already read 30 Thoughts today.
-The Kings graded 10th in the NHL and 39th across all sports in ESPN’s Ultimate Standings. The fall was based on the criteria judging how “players act professionally on and off the field,”
It might take awhile to get to the top — in the pursuit of a Stanley Cup and in our Ultimate Standings — but it sure doesn’t take long to slide down the hill. Witness the Los Angeles Kings, who, after winning their second title in three years in 2014, ranked no worse than sixth in coaching, players, fan relations and title track last year en route to a No. 5 overall ranking. But after missing the playoffs this spring and in the midst of much off-ice upheaval, they dropped to 39th this time around.
The Ducks were ranked second in hockey basically because they are a good team and have inexpensive tickets.
-Kings Weekly debuts tonight! Among tonight’s topics: Chris Herren visits the Kings, LA Kings High School hockey league coverage, highlights and interviews from the Manchester Monarchs ring presentation, Black and White Episode 1, Drawing with Drew, and a special on the Kings’ physical testing.
A season preview: