Rumor: Vancouver Canucks choose Henrik Sedin as new captain

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sedinwiththehart.jpgIt’s amazing how much ink has been spilled regarding a captaincy that actually wasn’t, you know, “official.”

Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo won’t be wearing that “C” on his mask as he relinquished the role for next season and there’s been plenty of speculation about who could be the new captain. Some wonder if it will be Hart Trophy winner Henrik Sedin, even if you would assume that he isn’t the most “vocal” leader. Others think Ryan Kesler would be worthy of the nod because he’s a Selke nominee and a great two-way player overall.

Now, this is clearly labeled as a rumor, but Canucks blog Nucks Misconduct points to an “inside source” who said that the team already decided to name Henrik Sedin their captain.

We are hearing from an inside source that the Canucks have already decided that Henrik Sedin will be the next Canucks captain. No announcement was projected to be made until preseason. We’ll see if this rumor comes to fruition.

Again, this is far from shocking, but it’s a sensible conclusion. The odds seemed to be in Henrik’s favor, but we will need to wait and see what happens as October 7 approaches.

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?