When the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup – and probably a long time before that – it was hard to imagine Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane ever splitting up. Really, it still is, but with the advent of cell phone photography, gossip hasn’t been kind to Kane and some wonder if he’ll be dealt. Toews discussed his “controversial” teammate with Brian Hedger, carrying a mostly forgiving tone.
“He’s been through some tough things. It’s arguable whether those things happened for a reason or not, but he’s still learning,” Toews said. “Now people are looking for that sort of thing and it tends to be easier for them to find it. I’m sure he’s being very hard on himself right now, but with time it will go away again and he’ll focus on hockey again.”
Still, Toews was a slight bit murky about how much hockey Kane will play with him.
“Whether a coaching staff or management thinks a change needs to be made, that’s up to them [and it’s] not really for players to worry about,” Toews said.
That sounds like a loaded comment, but he provided a similar sentiment when asked about the firing of former assistant Mike Haviland.
Perhaps Toews’ real message to Kane is to simply be a little more careful. In the grand scheme of things, Toews seems like he supports and empathizes with his teammate and partner-in-crime. He’s playing it close to the vest (as usual), yet he probably knows as well as anyone how much the two benefit from skating on the same team.
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 ESPN.com 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.
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.