They opened the time capsule Conn Smythe buried at Maple Leaf Gardens


In 1931, Toronto Maple Leafs owner Conn Smythe broke ground on Maple Leaf Gardens, which would go onto become one of hockey’s most hallowed buildings. The Maple Leafs won 11 Stanley Cups there, the first annual NHL All-Star Game was held there, Game Two of the 1972 Russia-Canada Summit series was held there…heck, Elvis Presley even played there.

On Thursday, another chapter in the Gardens’ rich history was unveiled — a metal time capsule Smythe buried behind a cornerstone in ’31. The capsule was opened during a ceremony at Ryerson University.

More, from the Toronto Star:

Found in the handmade copper box were copies of the local newspapers from Sept. 21, 1931 — the Toronto Daily Star, the Globe, the Mail and Empire and the Evening Telegram— a stock prospectus for Maple Leaf Gardens, the 1930-31 National Hockey League handbook and a 1930 Ontario Hockey Association rule book.

The inner lid of the time capsule was engraved “M.B. Campbell 124 Lindsay Ave 9/21/31.”

Ryerson University president Sheldon Levy said Campbell’s identity remains a mystery.

Another mystery is the small, ivory elephant found in the capsule. Two of Smythe’s great-grandsons were on hand at the ceremony and offered up their theories, though neither was entirely sure as to elephant’s significance. One heard it was from the Smythe family collection while the other thought it was to bring the Leafs good fortune.

“I’m not sure,” Stafford Scarlett told the Star. “I think it’s more of a good-luck charm. For 11 (Stanley) Cups, it worked.”

The Leafs played their last game at the Gardens in 1999. It has since been converted into a Loblaw’s grocery store and Ryerson’s athletic center.

(Image courtesy SportsLogos.net)

Report: Kings, Richards nearing settlement

Mike Richards
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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.

Bettman to players: Don’t screw up ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ with drugs

Gary Bettman
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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?