Steve Yzerman

Yzerman believes NHL went overboard with boarding rules


Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman told that the league might have over-corrected when it decided to crack down on boarding last season.

“I think we put an emphasis on boarding and kind of rewrote the rule last year, and to be perfectly honest I don’t think it worked out well at all,” Yzerman said. “Now every time a guy gets hit in the boards he throws himself in the boards and lays there until he sees if the referee puts his hands up or not. Players with the puck have some responsibility to protect themselves and not put themselves in vulnerable positions. That’s the one rule I’d like to see us continue to spend time on.”

He didn’t really go beyond that, however, including an explanation of what exactly he would do to change boarding rules.

Still, if there was a silver lining from the last lockout, it came in the rules changes that generally benefited the sport.

There’s plenty of time to discuss what rules you’d like the league to tweak, eliminate or more regularly enforce, so feel free to share the changes you believe would benefit the NHL the most.

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?