Darryl Sutter went from leaving the Calgary Flames in disgrace to joining the Los Angeles Kings as their head coach and leading them to the Stanley Cup. After all that, he’s still farming instead of kicking off training camp.
“It was really good and then we had some hail here in August that knocked it out a bit,” Sutter told the Los Angeles Times. “But it’s pretty good.”
Sutter has continued to visit Los Angeles over the summer, but he can’t start to defend the Cup until the lockout’s over.
“It’s just unsettling because you don’t know your timeline,” Sutter said. “As a coach you’re giving the players a target that they always want to work on for their training and we should have had our medicals [Friday].
“The worst part, quite honestly, from a coaching standpoint about all of this is you’re not allowed contact with your players. That’s just something that for me is important because you know what, the relationships that you have with them, you want to be able to talk to them and now you can’t.”
With that in mind, he plans to remain in Alberta until he has a better idea of what’s going on or Kings GM Dean Lombardi gives him an assignment.
If there’s a silver lining to all of this from the Kings’ perspective, it’s that with all of September’s preseason games canceled, the Los Angeles Kings will get a bit more time to recover after their long playoff run.
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.