Trotz: Radulov “absolutely” deserved critique from Jones, Roenick


The Phoenix Coyotes have a 2-0 series lead against the Nashville Predators and, according to Keith Jones and Jeremy Roenick, Nashville’s Alex Radulov has been part of the problem. You can check out what they had to say about Radulov below:

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So is it time for Predators coach Barry Trotz to step up and defend his player? Well, not exactly.

Trotz said Radulov “absolutely” deserved the critique you saw above. At this point, Trotz isn’t even willing to confirm that Radulov will play in Game 3 on Wednesday.

“I couldn’t even tell you that,” Trotz said. “I’m not trying to hold anything back. I just don’t know yet … There’s a lot of guys you could flip out.”

In fact, the only defense Trotz really seemed to offer was that other Predators’ players deserve some of the blame too.

“I know Rad took a lot from the NBC crew, but there are a lot of guys that have to look in the mirror right now that aren’t playing as well as they have,” said Trotz.

“There are guys that haven’t contributed in any significant way in the last couple games here, be it scoring chances, be it defensive play, be it momentum, be it physicality, all the things. … It’s just not good enough. We just have to up our game, plain and simple.”

The Predators took a risk and decided to be significant buyers in the lead-up to the trade deadline in the hope that this would be their year. They were able to get past the Detroit Red Wings, but it would be hard for them to call this season a success if it ends at the hands of the Phoenix Coyotes in the second round.

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?