Every Tuesday at PHT, we’ll pump a player’s tire. Because every player likes it when nice things are said about them.
This week’s tire pumpee: Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks
Clearly we had to pick Pavelski after what he said to the media recently: “You guys already are trying to pump me up too much.”
Hey, that’s what happens when you rack up 17 points in your first 13 games. It’s not the media’s fault they’re pumping your tires. It’s YOUR fault, Joe Pavelski. Stop being so…good.
Formerly San Jose’s third-line center, the 27-year-old has been a scoring machine playing the wing on the Sharks’ top line with Joe Thornton in the middle and either Logan Couture or Patrick Marleau on the other side.
“Pavs is just really good around the net,” Thornton told the Mercury News last week. “He has nice hands with a great shot. He goes to dirty areas and works hard. When you put all those things together, you’re going to score a lot of goals.”
Pavelski was one of the main players the Sharks were counting on to step up offensively after Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi were traded away over the summer.
So far, so good. Only Phil Kessel (10 goals) and Steven Stamkos (10) have more goals than Pavelski (9) this season.
Of those nine goals, none were bigger than this late one against the Devils on Oct. 21:
The Sharks ended up winning the game in a shootout, snapping a three-game losing streak, then went on to win four more in a row.
Joe Pavelski, everyone.
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.
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?