Martin Brodeur

Martin Brodeur will start tonight against Toronto

It seems like it’s been forever since Martin Brodeur played a game for the Devils, but he’s in line to be the starter for tonight’s game against Toronto according to Fire & Ice’s Tom Gulitti.

Brodeur’s wonky shoulder has kept him out of action since October 13 against the Kings when he left that start after a period. While coach Peter De Boer hasn’t said Brodeur gets the nod yet tonight, according to Gulitti, Brodeur went through practice doing everything that the starting goalie would do on a game day skate.

Brodeur getting to face a Leafs team that’s got the league’s leading scorer in Phil Kessel gives him a warm welcome back to action. Expect the Leafs to be buzzing tonight. While Brodeur has been out, Johan Hedberg has played great in his spot. If Brodeur struggles at all tonight or has a relapse, Hedberg will be there to buoy the ship. The league’s oldest goalie tandem has the chance to be both brittle and great all the same.

While Brodeur isn’t the same guy who has dominated in the past, he’s certainly capable of being the top guy just the same. The Leafs will put him to the test tonight.

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?