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.
Adrian Dater of The Denver Post shares a story which Peter Forsberg says Sweden tanked a game in the 2006 Olympics to get an easier road to gold. Wouldn’t you rather play Switzerland than Russia or Canada? Of course you would. (All Things Avs, Expressen)
Jason Spezza says teammate Jared Cowen should be in the talk for the Calder Trophy. Sadly, his name isn’t Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. (Ottawa Sun)
Joel Quenneville won his 600th game as a coach last night. Congrats to the coach and his awesome ‘stache. (CSNChicago.com)
Drew Doughty says Terry Murray’s firing was the change they needed. Enjoy having fun with Darryl Sutter though, Drew. (L.A. Kings Insider)
Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson continues to say that Scott Arniel is not the problem in Columbus. Is he trying to fall on his own sword or what? (Puck Rakers)
The Senators are believing that Kyle Turris is a great fit for them. They’d better hope so. (Ottawa Sun)
Daniel Briere will be centering his 12th different line for Philly this season. And you wonder why he’s been a bit off this year. (CSNPhilly.com)
It’s not always rainbows and unicorns for the Predators when they win. Things get a bit emo in the honky tonk. (Tennessean)
Tim Connolly is back on the top line for Toronto now. I wonder how Ville Leino is working in Buff… Oh, right. (TSN)
Ken Hitchcock gives up to the fans for the Blues’ big win. Look out for St. Louis, kids. (Post-Dispatch)
Finally, Niklas Hjalmarsson might be Swedish, but his goal had a lot of English on it. (NHL)
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?