If you’re looking for clues to when Nathan Horton might return to action, a fairly big hint was dropped today.
Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com reports Horton won’t travel with the Bruins as they set out on a six-game, 11-day roadie beginning Wednesday in Montreal. That’s followed by dates in Winnipeg, Minnesota, St. Louis, Buffalo and Ottawa — all told, Boston will be on the road until Saturday, Feb. 25 and barring a dramatic turnaround, Horton won’t experience any of those thrilling locales.
The Bruins have called up Josh Hennessy from AHL Providence as the extra forward and judging by what head coach Claude Julien had to say, Hennessy should be with the Bs for the majority (if not all of) the trip.
“When you get some injuries to [Horton] and you have extra forwards, you want to bring somebody along,” said Claude Julien. “I think it serves both purposes to make players understand that you’re not pulling your weight around; that there is somebody that can take your spot.
“But at the same time if there’s an injury on this road trip it’s a lot easier to bring the guy along if he’s been around on the team than just fly him in and expect him to jump in there and do the job.”
Horton hasn’t played since Jan. 21 after suffering a concussion against Philadelphia. He’s missed the last six games — it’ll be seven after tonight’s tilt against the Rangers — and suffered a setback in recovery last week, forcing the Bruins to shut him down.
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.