Olli Jokinen

NHL suspends Olli Jokinen three games for cross-check

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To the surprise of few, the NHL decided to suspend Calgary Flames forward Olli Jokinen. It’s unclear what determined the number of games (many will joke that they spun a Wheel of Justice, much like TV’s Wheel of Fortune or that huge awesome one on the Price is Right), but the league handed Jokinen a three game suspension for that cross-check on Wojtek Wolski.

(Here’s a link to the original post on this subject.)

Jokinen will miss the Flames’ next three games – Nov. 19 vs. the Chicago Blackhawks, Nov. 21 at the Detroit Red Wings and Nov. 22 at New York Rangers. He is eligible to return Nov. 24 as the Flames take on the New Jersey Devils in Newark.

According to NHL.com’s estimates, he’ll lose $48,387.09 in salary from the suspension, which will be given to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

Here is a video of the senseless hit. After viewing the video, please participate in our poll to determine whether or not the suspension length was appropriate.

And here is the poll.

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?

Goalie nods: Jones makes Sharks debut against ex-Kings mates

Martin Jones
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News and notes from around the crease…

Jones goes for San Jose

Martin Jones, acquired by the Sharks this summer, will make his first regular-season start for the club tonight against his old team — the Los Angeles Kings.

Jones, 25, spent the last two years in L.A. as Jonathan Quick‘s understudy. He was flipped to Boston at the NHL Entry Draft, then shipped to San Jose. Sharks GM Doug Wilson wasted little time locking Jones in — signing him to a three-year, $9 million extension — and Jones wasted little time locking up the No. 1 gig, putting together a stellar preseason.

For the Kings, Quick will get the start in goal.

Markstrom out for Vancouver

Jacob Markstrom wasn’t scheduled to start for the Canucks tonight — No. 1 Ryan Miller is getting the call — but the Swedish ‘tender won’t even dress when his club takes on the Flames in Calgary.

Markstrom suffered a lower-body injury at practice this week and is being held out of tonight’s action. In his place, the Canucks called up AHL netminder Richard Bachman, who’ll serve as Miller’s backup.

For the Flames, Karri Ramo is the opening-night starter.


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