Chris Chelios likely to retire

Chelios4.jpgChris Chelios and the Chicago Wolves were bumped by the Texas Stars
last night from the AHL playoffs, ending their season and once again
bringing up questions over his future in hockey.

This time, Chelios
says that he’s most likely retiring

99-percent sure that I think that will end it as a career,” Chelios
said. “I don’t know if it’s the right time to say it, but it has been a
great opportunity for me (to play hockey). Physically it has caught up.
I always said I’d go out when there was nothing left in the tank and I
think I’m there.”

It was a long, tough series
against the Stars that ended when Jamie Benn outworked the 47-year old Chelios along the
boards to score the game-winning goal. He’s been playing hockey for
over a quarter of a century and when he says he thinks he’s done, then
there’s no doubt that there’s nearly nothing left that he’s playing

He played mostly with the Wolves this season but was called
up for nine games with the Atlanta Thrashers at the end of the season,
although his experience and leadership didn’t make much of a difference
down the stretch.

Report: Kings, Richards nearing settlement

Mike Richards
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The Los Angeles Kings and Mike Richards may be nearing a settlement in their dispute over Richards’ terminated contract, TSN’s Bob McKenzie is reporting.

You can read the report for all the details, but we’re sure curious about this part:

If a settlement is reached, there’s no word yet on what salary cap penalties the Kings would still face. There’s bound to be something, but not likely as onerous as the full value of Richards’ contract, which carries with it a cap hit of $5.75 million. If there’s a settlement, Richards would undoubtedly become a free agent though there’s no telling at this point what monies he would be entitled to from the Kings in a settlement.

The issue here is precedent, and what this case could set. The NHL and NHLPA can’t allow teams to escape onerous contracts through a back door, and many are adamant that that’s what the Kings were attempting to do in Richards’ case.

Bettman to players: Don’t screw up ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ with drugs

Gary Bettman
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The NHL wants to take an educational approach — not a punitive one — to deter its players from using illicit drugs like cocaine.

“My interest is not to go around punishing people,” Bettman told Sportsnet today.

“My interest is getting players to understand the consequences of doing something that could jeopardize this great, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that they’ve been given, to play in the NHL.”

While some players have expressed surprise at hearing that cocaine use is growing, the anecdotal evidence of substance abuse has been very much in the news, from Jarret Stoll‘s arrest to Mike Richards’ arrest to, more recently, Zack Kassian‘s placement in the NHL/NHLPA’s treatment program.

“We don’t have the unilateral right to do things here. We need the consent of the Players’ Association,” Bettman said. “It’s not about punishment. It’s about making sure we get it to stop.”

Related: Cocaine in the NHL: A concern, but not a crisis?