Erik Haula #10 of Finland kneels down after losing to Russia in overtime during the 2011 IIHF World U20 Championship game between Finland and Russia on January 2, 2011 in Buffalo, New York. Russia won 4-3 in overtime.
(January 1, 2011 - Source: Rick Stewart/Getty Images North America)

Report: Officer spots Wild prospect peeing in public


File this one under bizarre.

The Pioneer Press, who are citing a police report, stated that Erik Haula was recently caught peeing in public. Haula was drafted by the Minnesota Wild in 2009 and currently plays for the University of Minnesota

When the an officer found him engaged in that particular activity, Haula appeared to be “extremely intoxicated.” This occurred after 2am on July 22 near a bar in downtown Stillwater.

The police report states that Haula was seen “in plain view of the bar crowd.”

Fortunately, again according to the report, Haula cooperated with the police and agreed that public urination isn’t an activity he should participate in. Haula was ultimately “released to a friend who was somewhat sober” and cited for disorderly conduct.

The University of Minnesota has been informed of the incident. Coach (Don) Lucia “has spoken to Erik and will handle it as an internal team matter,” according to Director of Athletics Communications Garry Bowman.

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?