Los Angeles Kings v New Jersey Devils - Game Five

Report: Brodeur heading to free agency?


According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, New Jersey goalie Martin Brodeur is “very likely” to put his services up for bids on Sunday with the help of newly hired agent Pat Brisson.

The 40-year-old has never played for another organization (he was drafted the by the Devils in 1990) and he’s already won three Stanley Cups, so this is either a bluff or money is seriously tight in New Jersey.

Brodeur is coming off a six-year, $31.2 million contract (cap hit $5.2 million). And based on the Devils’ run to the Stanley Cup finals, he can still get it done.

In December, Brodeur didn’t rule out playing for a different team after his contract expired.

“In the future you never know, but I don’t want to,” Brodeur said. “But if I want to play — and I have so much respect for this organization — and if they don’t feel I’m the guy for them and they want to move on, if I still want to play I have to look after myself. I don’t see that happening, but I can’t say no.”

And so begins the Brodeur-to-Toronto speculation. (Also, the Brodeur-to-Chicago speculation. Which probably makes more sense.)

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?