Are the Avs interested in Edmonton's Andrew Cogliano?

andrewcogliano.jpgThe Denver Post’s Adrian Dater picked up on the scent of something that the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson dropped a brief mention of recently and got to wondering if there’s much to it. In it, Matheson wondered aloud that the Colorado Avalanche have some interest in Edmonton center Andrew Cogliano. Cogliano is an unsigned restricted free agent of the Oilers and you’d have to think an offer sheet wouldn’t be the preferable route. Dater says of Cogliano:

He’s been a 30-40 point guy in his three-year career and is a former first-round pick. Cogliano made $850,000 last season and is currently an unsigned, restricted free agent. The Avs have two guys like that too – Chris Stewart and Peter Mueller – but I can’t fathom either of them being moved to Edmonton as part of a trade just for Cogliano.

The other side of this is that Denver is swimming in salary cap space. While cap space doesn’t always dictate what a team is willing to spend in their internal budget, the Avs could stand to at least get to the cap floor first. Finding a way to add Cogliano would be a boost to the Avs offense and doing so without parting with Stewart and Mueller would be exceptional for them. Stewart had a breakout season and Mueller found his game again after being traded to Colorado at the deadline for Wojtek Wolski. Besides, if the Avs can keep the puck moving in the opposite direction of goaltender Craig Anderson, I’m sure he’d appreciate the break. Anderson lead the league in shots faced last season with 2,233.

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?