PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Not only is it Teemu Selanne’s return to Winnipeg, but the current iteration of the Jets are fans of his too. Everyone loves Teemu. (Winnipeg Sun)
The Anaheim Ducks are even eager to share the wonder that is Teemu returning to where it all began for a day. (Ducks)
Down Goes Brown’s take on Teemu’s history is a damn fine hysterical tribute to the Finnish Flash. (Down Goes Brown)
Travis Zajac was really happy about his play in his first game back from a torn Achilles tendon. (Star-Ledger)
Tyler Seguin has finally been jinxed by the sophomore slump. (CSNNE.com)
Ken Dryden penned a fantastic piece on concussions and what Gary Bettman’s role in the league’s epidemic is. (Grantland)
Meanwhile in Chicago, Ray Emery is stealing the starting goaltending job. (CSNChicago.com)
Antero Niittymaki was a winner in his first AHL rehab start. (CSNBayArea.com)
Olli Jokinen may have his ups and downs, but he does well in his former hometowns. (Calgary Sun)
Francois Beauchemin is becoming one of the leaders of a Ducks team in desperate need of guidance. (OC Register)
Ken Hitchcock and Barry Trotz renew their friendly rivalry. They should surprise us all by playing firewagon hockey against each other to celebrate. (Tennessean)
What’s the Red Wings’ key to success on the power play? Moving the puck, stupid! (Detroit Free Press)
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.