The architect of Dallas’ first and only Stanley Cup winner is back in the fold.
Stars CEO Jim Lites confirmed Wednesday that former coach and general manager Bob Gainey has been hired as a consultant, bringing Gainey back to the franchise he made a powerhouse in the late 90s.
“I think the most important thing I can do in my job is hire good people, and Bob is one of the best persons I know,” Lites told the Dallas Morning News. “He was available, he was very interested in what we’ve been able to accomplish, and I just believe having a voice like that will be extremely beneficial in a lot of ways.”
Gainey told the Morning News his role with the Stars will be similar to the one he had with Montreal under then-GM Pierre Gauthier.
“My scope will probably be broader with the Stars, but I see it as observing and familiarizing myself with the players and then hopefully offering some guidance that maybe others haven’t seen,” Gainey said. “I would like to be able to say, ‘I see this in a player,’ or ‘Maybe we could shape this player in this direction.’
“Those are areas where I believe I can help.”
Gainey is the latest in a series of Dallas’ “retro” hires. Others include: GM Joe Nieuwendyk (who won the Conn Smythe for Dallas in 1999) and Hockey Operations Consultant Stu Barnes (who played four years and retired with the Stars.)
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.
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?