Henrik Sedin

Henrik Sedin will probably play tonight


Canucks captain Henrik Sedin spoke to reporters today after testing out his tender-but-not-broken ankle during the team’s morning skate in St. Paul.

So, does he plan to play tonight against the Wild and keep his 552-game ironman streak alive?

“Like I said, I want to play games,” Sedin said. “That’s No. 1 and if they say it’s not going to get any worse and I’m able to play then I am going to play.”

He added: “It’s not about a streak. I have always said if you are good enough to go then you are out there and you have to play at your best. That’s my opinion.”

Sedin then pulled out a lighter and held the flame under the palm of his hand while reporters backed away slowly.

“It just shows you how tough he is,” said Canucks goalie Cory Schneider. “I know he gets a lot of crap about not being hard-nosed and gritty, but look at how many games in a row he has played and how many injuries he has played through. I don’t think people realize the sacrifices he makes.”

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?