Steve Tambellini

Flames, Habs ramp up coaching search; “Crickets” in Edmonton


Dale Hunter parted ways with the Washington Capitals today, but the Caps aren’t the only team in need of a new head coach. Bob McKenzie provided some interesting scuttlebutt (or lack of movement, depending) regarding three Canadian NHL teams searching for a new suit: the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and Montreal Canadiens.

Let’s go one-by-one, then.

Calgary: McKenzie reports that the Flames’ process is still in its “early stages,” with a list of 10-12 candidates likely boiled down to five or six interviews. Bob Hartley and Troy Ward are “prominent” in the discussions so far.

Edmonton: McKenzie basically says that the “crickets” are chirping in Edmonton with GM Steve Tambellini and coach Tom Renney’s contracts set to expire, although Tambellini is likely to be back.

Montreal: The Canadiens are reportedly in the process of “touching base” with candidates such as Hartley, Michel Therrien, Guy Carbonneau, Marc Crawford and perhaps more.


If McKenzie’s reports are any indication, it might be a while before teams pull the trigger on new coaching hires. With that in mind, let’s open the floor: which coaches would make the most sense for each team and which ones would be a bad fit?

Cocaine in the NHL: A concern, but not a crisis?

Montreal Canadiens v Minnesota Wild

Does the NHL have a cocaine problem?

TSN caught up with deputy commissioner Bill Daly, who provided some fascinating insight:

“The number of [cocaine] positives are more than they were in previous years and they’re going up,” Daly said. “I wouldn’t say it’s a crisis in any sense. What I’d say is drugs like cocaine are cyclical and you’ve hit a cycle where it’s an ‘in’ drug again.”


Daly said that he’d be surprised  “if we’re talking more than 20 guys” and then touched on something that may be a problem: they don’t test it in a “comprehensive way.”

As Katie Strang’s essential ESPN article about the Los Angeles Kings’ tough season explored in June, there are some challenges for testing for a drug like cocaine. That said, there are also some limitations that may raise some eyebrows.

For one, it metabolizes quickly. Michael McCabe, a Philadelphia-based toxicology expert who works for Robson Forensic, told that, generally speaking, cocaine filters out of the system in two to four days, making it relatively easy to avoid a flag in standard urine tests.

The NHL-NHLPA’s joint drug-testing program is not specifically designed to target recreational drugs such as cocaine or marijuana. The Performance Enhancing Substances Program is put into place to do exactly that — screen for performance-enhancing drugs.

So, are “party drugs” like cocaine and molly an issue for the NHL?

At the moment, the answer almost seems to be: “the league hopes not.”

Daly goes into plenty of detail on the issue, so read the full TSN article for more.

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.

We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.

It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”

Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)

Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.

So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”

… You get the idea.

The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.

The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.