Andreas Lilja

More Flyers defensive injury woes: Andreas Lilja out four months


The Flyers’ bad luck with injuries continues to roll along.

According a report from Swedish newspaper Helsinborgs Dagblad, defenseman Andreas Lilja will miss the next four months after having hip surgery. Matias Strozyk translates the story with these quotes via Twitter.

“I’ve had problems for a couple of years but usually the pain eased over summer,” Lilja said. “Not this year, so I needed surgery.”

“Now I have a new hip and the difference will be big when I return. Not least mentally, since I can now move without pain.”

Lilja tells the Swedish paper that the procedure he had done could extend his career by five years. Meanwhile, CSNPhilly’s Tim Panaccio could not reach Flyers GM Paul Holmgren for comment on the injury, but a source with the team confirmed to him Lilja’s status. With how labor talks are going, Lilja might not miss any games.

Lilja now joins Andrej Meszaros (Achilles’ tendon) and Chris Pronger (concussion) on the shelf with injuries.

The Flyers will now look to start the season with Kimmo Timonen, Braydon Coburn, Nick Grossmann, Erik Gustafsson, Luke Schenn, Marc-Andre Bourdon, and Bruno Gervais on their back line. They’d better hope Ilya Bryzgalov has a big bounce-back season.

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?