Kimmo Timonen doesn’t have many seasons left in what’s been an excellent NHL career. The Flyers’ defenseman is 37 years old and among the top 30 oldest players in the league.
Suffice to say he really doesn’t want to lose the season to a lockout. He already went through that in 2004-05, and he wasn’t close to retirement then.
In fact, if there’s no 2012-13 season, Timonen says he might’ve played his last game in the NHL.
“I feel like I am in great shape, but to be honest if this thing drags on another two or three months who knows, I might lose my motivation and we will see what happens after,” he told the Philadelphia Inquirer Wednesday.
Maybe Timonen is bluffing. Flyers owner Ed Snider certainly doesn’t want to see his best healthy defenseman retire. Not when Philly’s blue line is already a massive concern.
However, it’s worth noting that Timonen’s already received $35 million of his front-loaded $38 million contract. Would he be willing to stay in shape and come back next season for $3 million?
For now, Timonen’s toeing the “this is about the future” party line.
“Hopefully they can get together and get the deal done,” he said.
(Note: We linked to this story in the Morning Skate, but we felt it was worth discussing further.)
Related: Timonen fears CBA process “might take a while”
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.