Ilya Bryzgalov

Holmgren doesn’t think Bryzgalov’s injury is serious


As previously reported, Ilya Bryzgalov will not play on Thursday due to a chip fracture in his foot. The good news is that he might be back between the pipes as early as Saturday.

“We don’t think this is a serious injury,” Flyers GM Paul Holmgren said. “It’s a chip off a weight-bearing bone, and the doctor has said it’ll be absorbed back into his system, and there’s no real risk here at all [to play]. It’s just he’s in a little bit of pain right now.”

Bryzgalov has been one of the league’s top goaltenders since the All-Star break, so getting him back before the playoffs would be a huge help. That’s especially true because their first round opponent is currently projected to be the very dangerous Pittsburgh Penguins.

In the meantime, Sergei Bobrovsky will start for just the second time since Feb. 12. He has allowed three or more goals in each of his last six appearances, but this could be an opportunity for him to put that behind him before the postseason starts.

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?