John Tortorella

John Tortorella has the pregame press conference down to a science

You can’t say John Tortorella doesn’t have being a minimalist down to a science.

During today’s pregame press conference, Tortorella was asked three different ways to provide status updates on Brian Boyle and Brandon Dubinsky. Tortorella replied to each query with his usual bright and cheery demeanor saying, “No updates” each time, as the Daily News’ Pat Leonard reports.

If Torts keeps this up, he’ll put the Cliffs Notes people out of business with his succinct updates.

Boyle practiced with the Rangers yesterday, the first time for him since suffering a concussion against Ottawa in Game 5 thanks to a hit from Sens tough guy Chris Neil. Dubinsky played through Game 7 for New York but came out of it with a leg injury.

More: Watch John Tortorella very, very, briefly address the media

More: Tortorella holds very, very, brief press conference

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?