After a short stint in the doghouse, Minnesota winger Devin Setoguchi emerged to make amends with his teammates.
“There’s no excuse,” Setoguchi said after being made a healthy scratch for missing a team meeting. “We have one job, and that’s to come to the rink.
“It’s my fault. I paid for it. Now I’ll try to get back in the trust of the coach and the team. I’ve just got to earn it back with some hard work.”
Setoguchi was supposed to be in the lineup Tuesday against his former team, the San Jose Sharks, but something went awry. According to Mike Russo of the Minnesota Star-Tribune, multiple sources said Setoguchi was out with some of his ex-Sharks mates the night before, fueling speculation the mini-reunion caused him to miss Tuesday morning’s team meeting.
“You feel bad all day. You never want it to happen to you,” Setoguchi said. “You’ve got to be accountable, especially when things aren’t going right. It’s unacceptable and inexcusable and thankfully enough, I got bailed out by our team [with a win over San Jose]. It was nice to watch. It was just too bad I couldn’t be out there.”
Many have credited Wild head coach Mike Yeo for making the disciplinary move when he did. It was a bold decision; Minnesota had been struggling offensively and Setoguchi was playing well, recording one assist and nine shots on goal in the previous two contests.
But it seems one of hockey’s favorite buzz terms — accountability — trumped all else.
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.