Shea Weber

At least one NHL executive believes Preds will match Weber offer


An unidentified NHL executive tells Sportsnet’s John Shannon that it looks like the Nashville Predators will match Philadelphia’s offer sheet for Shea Weber.

Unless, the executive adds, the Flyers are “prepared to make a great trade.”

Said trade would presumably involve the four first-round picks that would go to Nashville should the Preds decide not to match.

Nashville has until Wednesday night to match the Flyers’ $110 million offer for Weber.

According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Preds ownership is meeting today to determine the best course of action.

As Weber’s agent, Kevin Epp, points out, Nashville’s multiple-owner structure could be complicating matters.

“There’s a lot of owners who have to get together to make the decision,” Epp told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “It’s not like the Flyers with one owner.”

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?