Dan Ellis, Mike Brown, Victor Hedman

Leafs Mike Brown suspended three games for head shot on Ed Jovanovski

Maple Leafs forward Mike Brown made a big impression in his first game back after injury. He assisted on the Leafs only goal of the game in a 5-1 loss to Phoenix and managed to draw the attention of the NHL’s front office after a questionable hit on Coyotes defenseman Ed Jovanovski.

Brown’s head shot on Jovanovski has earned him a three-game suspension from the NHL for violating Rule 48. Brown’s play on the ice is always physical with an edge and this hit certainly qualifies as such as he cut in front of Jovanovski and caught him with the back of his elbow right in the face. You can see video of the hit on YouTube here.

Losing Brown from the lineup won’t be too painful for Toronto seeing as how they’ve been playing without him since late November as it is. The question some fans are raising here is about whether or not this is Rule 48 run amok. In this case, Brown cut in front of Jovanovski without him knowing he was there and caught him up high with a blow to the head. It’s a cut and dry violation of the new rule and the exact sort of thing the league wants out of the game. If there are fans that wish to keep this sort of thing in the game, a new set of priorities might be in order.

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

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Does the NHL have a cocaine problem?

TSN caught up with deputy commissioner Bill Daly, who provided some fascinating insight:

“The number of [cocaine] positives are more than they were in previous years and they’re going up,” Daly said. “I wouldn’t say it’s a crisis in any sense. What I’d say is drugs like cocaine are cyclical and you’ve hit a cycle where it’s an ‘in’ drug again.”


Daly said that he’d be surprised  “if we’re talking more than 20 guys” and then touched on something that may be a problem: they don’t test it in a “comprehensive way.”

As Katie Strang’s essential ESPN article about the Los Angeles Kings’ tough season explored in June, there are some challenges for testing for a drug like cocaine. That said, there are also some limitations that may raise some eyebrows.

For one, it metabolizes quickly. Michael McCabe, a Philadelphia-based toxicology expert who works for Robson Forensic, told ESPN.com that, generally speaking, cocaine filters out of the system in two to four days, making it relatively easy to avoid a flag in standard urine tests.

The NHL-NHLPA’s joint drug-testing program is not specifically designed to target recreational drugs such as cocaine or marijuana. The Performance Enhancing Substances Program is put into place to do exactly that — screen for performance-enhancing drugs.

So, are “party drugs” like cocaine and molly an issue for the NHL?

At the moment, the answer almost seems to be: “the league hopes not.”

Daly goes into plenty of detail on the issue, so read the full TSN article for more.

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.

We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.

It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”

Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)

Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.

So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”

… You get the idea.

The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.

The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.