Lidstrom, Pronger and Fedorov top 2015 HHoF inductees, Kings terminate Mike Richards contract, plus the latest notable signings, trades and more. 

Hockey Hall of Fame 2015 Inductees.

Nicklas Lidstrom, Chris Pronger, Phil Housley and Sergei Fedorov are among the 2015 inductees into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Nicklas Lidstrom, Chris Pronger, Phil Housley and Sergei Fedorov are among the 2015 inductees into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

TSN: “Nicklas Lidstrom, Sergei Fedorov, Chris Pronger, Phil Housley and Angela Ruggiero will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as the Class of 2015. Bill Hay and Peter Karmanos were also inducted as builders.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to all the members of the HHoF Class of 2015. 

THE NEWS & OBSERVER:  The timing of Karmanos’ induction into the HHoF is awkward, as he might not be an NHL owner when the induction ceremony is held in November. Karmamos has the Carolina Hurricanes and their ECHL farm team up for sale.

Kings terminate Mike Richards’ contract. 

ESPN.COM/YAHOO SPORTS/SPORTSNET: The Los Angeles Kings have terminated the contract of center Mike Richards for what they called a “material breach”.  Sources claim it was due to an off-ice incident. NBC Sports’ Pierre McGuire claimed it involved an incident at the US-Canada border but declined to elaborate.  Elliotte Friedman reports the Kings were made aware of the incident during the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft. They were discussing possible trade scenarios with Edmonton and Calgary regarding Richards. Once Kings GM Dean Lombardi was informed of the incident, he personally notified the Flames and Oilers general managers.

Friedman reports the Kings “referenced Section 2(e) of the SPC, which states a player agrees “to conduct himself on and off the rink according to the highest standards of honesty, morality, fair play and sportsmanship, and to refrain from conduct detrimental to the best interest of the Club, the League or professional hockey generally.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The NHLPA could file a grievance on Richards’ behalf, which could take months to sort out. I have a feeling we haven’t heard the last of this from Richards and the PA. If the Kings are successful, it could set a precedent for other clubs to shed onorous contracts. For now, the Kings will be operating as though they’ve cleared Richards’ $5.75 million annual cap hit through 2019-20 from their books, minus a $1.32 million salary-cap recapture penalty as his contract was among the “backdiving” deals signed before the current CBA. The Philadelphia Flyers, who signed him to that contract, won’t be affected by this penalty. So far, there’s no information regarding this mysterious off-ice incident, though I’m sure there will be plenty of speculation about that in the coming weeks. 

The latest notable signings,trades and buyouts.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Dallas Stars signed recently-acquired goaltender Antti Niemi to a three-year contract worth an average cap hit of $4.5 million.

SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS: The San Jose Sharks re-signed defenseman Brenden Dillon to a five-year, $16.35 million contract.

THE WASHINGTON POST: The Washington Capitals re-signed forward Jay Beagle to a three-year contract worth $1.75 million per season.

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins re-signed defenseman Ian Cole to a three-year, $6.3 million contract.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The Chicago Blackhawks re-signed defenseman David Rundblad to a two-year deal worth around $1 million annually.

PHILLY.COM: The Philadelphia Flyers traded enforcer Zac Rinaldo to the Boston Bruins in exchange for a third-round pick in 2017. The Flyers also re-signed center Chris VandeVelde to a two-year extension with a reported annual average value of just over $700,000.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins have evidently decided they need more toughness in their lineup, especially after trading away popular power forward Milan Lucic. Rinaldo, however, has a reputation as a loose cannon on the ice. He certainly wasn’t worth a third-round pick. Yet another questionable move by Bruins management. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: The Sabres placed center Cody Hodgson on waivers for the purpose of buying him out today.

Other notable NHL headlines.

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly, recently acquired from the Colorado Avalanche, said he expected to have a new contract with the Sabres “fairly soon.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: O’Reilly is entering the final season of his current contract with a cap hit of $6 million. It’ll be interesting to see what he gets from the Sabres. 

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Pavel Datsyuk’s off-season ankle surgery means it’s unlikely the Red Wings will buy out Stephen Weiss this summer.

NHL.COM: The St. Louis Blues announced forward Vladimir Sobotka will spend next season in the KHL.

THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC: A Maricopa County Superior Court judge today ordered Glendale to pay $3.75 million to the Arizona Coyotes, a payment that is due Wednesday.