More on Capitals steroid investigation

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laich.jpgBefore things get out of hand and the allegations start to fly out of
control, let’s clear some things up on the news from today that U.S.
Marshals and steroid investigators have gathered at the Washington
Capitals’ training facility.

According to sources, the Capitals’ facility
was not ‘raided’ or ‘descended upon’ by federal authorities looking to
tear the place upside down in a search for steroids. Far, far from that
in fact. A number of sheriff’s office investigators, assisted by U.S.
Marshal authorities, have met at the training facility merely looking
to talk with some players and team officials.

The investigation is
a carry over from last year’s arrest of Richard Thomas, who was charged
with possessing anabolic steroids with intent to sell. Thomas said he
was using the drugs so that he could ‘look like Arnold Schwarzenegger‘ and that he was selling steroids to
players for the NHL, NFL and MLB. He specifically mentioned the
Washington Capitals and the Washington Nationals.

More after the jump.

Investigators
for the NHL took action based on the statements, and nothing further
came from the allegations. No specific players were named and it seemed
as though Thomas was just looking to try and bring down anyone he could
as he was legally buried with over $200,000 in illegal steroids. He also
claimed to be ‘the largest steroid dealer in Central Florida’.

Today,
Dr. Douglas Nagel, a chiropractor in the Virginia and Washington, D.C.
area was arrested in connection with the case, with detectives saying
the he has been purchasing steroids from Thomas for at least a year.
According to Melissa Liberman of WTSP.com:

Thomas said Nagel told him that he worked with professional athletes
in
the D.C.
area and that the doctor boasted about supplying steroids to these
athletes. The teams Thomas said Nagel supplied steroids to are the
Washington Nationals and the Washington Capitals.

Nagal’s wife, Jan, said in a brief phone interview that her husband
did not sell steroids. She denied he ever treated members of the
Nationals, and declined to comment on whether he had treated any
Capitals.

According to the arrest affidavit for Richard Thomas, he had been
supplying steroids to clients all over the U.S. via FedEx and USPS.

Nagel has several patients on the Capitals and Nationals, but that
does not mean he had been supplying steroids to the players.

It’s certainly an incredible coincidence that a dealer stated nearly
a year ago, very specifically, pointed out the Capitals and Nationals
as teams that he had been indirectly supplying, and a chiropractor with
patients on both teams is then arrested for purchasing steroids from the
same dealer. It certainly seemed to be a baseless allegation last year,
but now there’s a possibility he could have been speaking the truth.

We’ll update you with the statement from the team as soon as we can.

Bolts avoid arbitration with Namestnikov — two years, $3.875M

Vladislav Namestnikov
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Tampa Bay has avoided Friday’s scheduled arbitration hearing with forward Vladislav Namestnikov, agreeing to a two-year, $3.875M deal on Tuesday evening, per ESPN.

Namestnikov, 23, had a breakout campaign last year, scoring 14 goals and 35 points in 80 games — all career highs. The former first-round pick also appeared in 17 playoff games for the Bolts, scoring a goal and three points while helping the club to the Eastern Conference Final.

Coming off a one-year deal in which he made $874,125, the diminutive Russian gets a nice pay bump with this latest contract, and a bit of security with the two-year term. He should play a fairly integral role next season, coming off a year in which he finished tied for fourth on the team in goals, with Tyler Johnson.

But while tonight may be about Namestnikov, it’s another Russian forward in Tampa Bay that everybody now has their eyes on — Nikita Kucherov, the playoff scoring sensation that declined to file for arbitration, but still requires a new deal.

Given some of the big-money contracts GM Steve Yzerman has handed out this summer — namely those to Steve Stamkos, Victor Hedman and Alex Killorn — the Kucherov negotiations are definitely ones to keep an eye on.

Talks ongoing between Wild and Dumba, meeting expected soon

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There’s just one piece of business left for Minnesota this summer — a new contract for RFA defenseman Matt Dumba.

And it sounds like that piece of business will soon be attended to.

From the Star-Tribune:

There have been ongoing talks between Wild assistant GM Brent Flahr and [Dumba’s] agent Craig Oster.

The two are expected to meet face to face in Calgary at the Hockey Canada camp.

Dumba, the former No. 7 overall pick, just wrapped his entry-level deal, coming off a campaign in which he set career highs in games played (81), goals (10) and points (26).

He also notched a pair of assists in the Wild’s six-game loss to Dallas in the playoffs.

Dumba, 22, did see his name surface in trade talks this season. There was a report in late January that he was the return piece in a potential swap for Tampa Bay’s Jonathan Drouin, and he’s been tied to teams looking for a blueline upgrade.

A good puck mover with offensive skills — and a right-handed shot — Dumba is definitely a commodity. What’s more, logic suggests the Wild could opt to move him, given the long-term financial commitments to fellow defensemen Ryan Suter (signed through 2025 at $7.53 million), Jonas Brodin (2021 at $4.16M), Jared Spurgeon (2020, $5.18M) and Marco Scandella (2020, $4M).

Minnesota has some other young defensive prospects in the system, too.

There’s former Gophers standout Mike Reilly, Miami of Ohio product Louis Belpedio and Gustav Olofsson, the 46th overall pick in ’13 that’s been honing his game in AHL Iowa (and made his NHL debut last season).

The Wild are in control of the Dumba situation and can slow play negotiations, possibly while re-exploring trade scenarios. Don’t forget the Bruins are still in search of the “transitional” defenseman they desperately want.

But should things go the expected way and Dumba re-signs in Minnesota, the Star-Tribune said a bridge deal is the “likeliest” outcome.

Journeyman enforcer Rosehill signs with Scottish team

Paul Bissonnette, Jay Rosehill
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Noted pugilist Jay Rosehill has followed in the footsteps of his fellow tough guys, and will try his hand overseas.

Specifically, in the United Kingdom.

On Tuesday, the EIHL’s Scottish-based outfit in Braehead — the Clan — announced it had signed Rosehill for the upcoming campaign. The move comes after the 31-year-old spent each of the last two seasons with Philly’s AHL affiliate in Lehigh Valley.

Though he’s slowed down in recent years, Rosehill has long been known as an extremely active fighter. At no time was this more evident than during the ’08-09 campaign, when he fought a staggering 33 times (yeah, thirty-three) while playing for AHL Norfolk.

Rosehill last played in the NHL during the ’13-14 campaign, scoring two goals in 34 games for the Flyers — while racking up 90 PIM.

Here’s an example of some of his most famous handiwork:

As mentioned above, the EIHL has landed a few notable ex-NHL fighters. Cam Janssen, Kevin Westgarth, Paul Bissonnette and Tom Sestito have all played there.

 

 

Veteran d-man Foster retires, moves into coaching

UNIONDALE, NY - DECEMBER 13:  Kurtis Foster #26 of the Minnesota Wild looks on during their NHL game against the New York Islanders on December 13, 2005 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.  The Wild defeated the Islanders 4-3.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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Kurtis Foster, who appeared in over 400 games during a 10-year NHL career, is hanging up his skates to enter the next phase of his hockey life — coaching.

Foster, 34, has rejoined his former junior team in OHL Peterborough as an assistant coach, per the Examiner. The decision comes after Foster spent the last three years playing overseas in the KHL and, most recently, in the German League.

The 40th overall pick in 2000, Foster is often remembered for a horrific leg break while playing for Minnesota during the 2007-08 campaign, in which his femur was shattered by Torrey Mitchell after Mitchell tried to prevent an icing call.

The severity of the collision and Foster’s injury — he underwent emergency surgery, nearly bled out and almost lost his leg — prompted an immediate rule tweak from the NHL, and has since been viewed as a catalyst for the league’s adoption of no-touch icing.

Impressively, Foster recovered from the broken femur to post a career-high 42 points in 74 games with the Lightning in ’09-10.

In addition to the Wild and Bolts, Foster spent time with the Thrashers, Oilers, Ducks, Devils and Flyers.