As if you didn’t have enough of a reason to want to check out the Winter Classic Alumni Game, the Flyers are giving you a legendary Hall of Fame reason. Legendary Flyers goalie Bernie Parent was set to be one of the Flyers’ ambassadors for the game but he’s now putting himself in the Flyers’ lineup to play goal for the December 31 exhibition.
The Flyers’ original roster had Mark LaForest and Neil Little set to play goal but the 66 year-old Parent now wants in to play one more game in front of the hometown fans in Philly. Parent was the man responsible for helping the Flyers win their two Stanley Cups in the 1970s as part of the Broad Street Bullies.
Parent was the Tim Thomas of his day in that he won the Vezina Trophy, Stanley Cup, and Conn Smythe Trophy in 1975. Thomas is the only goalie to have accomplished the same feat since Parent did it. Parent is still a folk hero and a legend in Philadelphia to this day.
Taking Parent’s place as one of the Flyers’ ambassadors for the game is another legendary goalie in Ron Hextall. Hextall is currently the assistant GM for the L.A. Kings so getting the time off for the game was already an issue. If you’re wondering why Hextall isn’t playing, he hasn’t been in any kind of game shape since he retired in 1999.
Now we’ll wait to see if Mike Richter makes himself available to counter the Flyers’ Stanley Cup-winning goalie addition for the Rangers.
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.
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.