Jay Feaster

Jay Feaster didn’t really mean to say he’d trade everyone

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Remember when Flames GM Jay Feaster went off after an embarrassing effort against Edmonton the other night? Feaster said he’d clean house if things didn’t get right and with the trade deadline coming up on Monday, that’s a pretty effective threat.

Turns out it was just Feaster getting a bit hot under the collar according to Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun. After saying he kind of lost his mind the other night, Feaster was a lot more reasonable with his feelings regarding the oncoming deadline.

“It’s not as though we’re walking into that group and saying, ‘It’s do-or-die tonight. Lose tonight and you’re all gone on Monday’ but we all want to see what the response is,” Feaster said. “It isn’t just on the basis of what happened (Thursday) night. It isn’t just on the basis of that (Edmonton) game. And it probably won’t be on the basis of what happens Saturday.”

It’s good to see that Feaster wasn’t totally off his rocker, but with the Flames having a big game against the Flyers tonight, it may as well be put-up-or-shut-up time for Calgary. The Flames are just two points back of Dallas for eighth in the Western Conference and, as you might’ve heard, every point counts.

A stink bomb of a game against Philadelphia just might be the sort of thing that makes Feaster follow through with being a seller at the deadline rather than a buyer.

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?