T.J. Oshie

T.J. Oshie to return to Blues lineup tomorrow, donates money to charity

We’ve had a little bit of fun with T.J. Oshie’s unexcused absence from Blues practice that earned him a team-imposed two game vacation but we’re happy to see today that he’s learning from it and making immediate amends for screwing up.

After all, professional athletes missing practice for any reason at all is pretty inexcusable since this is their life and their careers. We’re not talking about ducking practice to go hang with your buddies at the mall. At least we hope not in this case. For Oshie, it’s a very public mistake and one he’s not happy with himself about even if Brett Hull says his teammates should’ve helped him out by making sure he got to practice.

Oshie spoke with the press today about his mistake and he was indeed very sorry for what happened as Jeremy Rutherford of The St. Louis Dispatch shares.

“I’ve learned from what happened the last couple days. This is kind of an eye-opener for me. I know that this is unacceptable. I’m going to do everything I can to earn the trust back of the fans, who I love here in St. Louis, of management and mostly my teammates. They’re the ones I go to battle with every night. I definitely never want to let them down again.”

Oshie says he feels so badly about what happened that he ‘s donating the money for the games he was sat down for. For that, he’s donating the money he made in those two games to charity.

As a result, Oshie will divide his pay from the missed games and donate it to the St. Louis Blues 14 Fund and the Dream Factory.

“I got paid for the last two days I missed and that’s not right,” Oshie told reporters after Wednesday’s practice. “I’m going to do everything I can to earn the trust back of the fans, who I love here in St. Louis. (My teammates) are the ones I go to battle with every night. I definitely never want to let them down again.”

It’s not just good PR for Oshie to do this, it’s smart too. In professional sports we hear so much about players seem to do things with no regard for the public or how their actions affect the team and those around them. In Oshie’s case he makes his team look bad but makes up for it by doing a really great thing for the community. If you can’t help the team win on the ice, helping them win off of it by helping the community is such a different thing to see a pro athlete do.

Good for Oshie for doing it but we can’t help it if we’re still really curious about just where he was.

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.