Bobby Orr knows what it feels like to skate back and retrieve the puck on a shoot-in with an opposing forward in hot pursuit; however, the Hall of Fame defenseman sounds glad he doesn’t have to do it in today’s NHL.
In an interview with Sportsnet.ca, Orr — who now owns a player agency that represents the likes of Jason Spezza and Taylor Hall — suggests the league should ease up on calling interference on puck retrievals. Not only will it cut down on all the penalties that disrupt the flow of the game, it will keep defensemen safer.
“I think the (referees) are a lot better now than they were, but it was power play, power play, power play for it felt like a lot of games, and I don’t think that’s right,” he said. “I think I should be able to help my defense partner by at least getting in someone’s way — too many guys are being run — but I can’t do that.”
Orr’s not the first to say as much. And we’d argue fewer and fewer interference penalties have been called since the stringent enforcement that followed the 2004-05 lockout. (The NHL will deny this.) But defensemen are still getting run more than they were during the clutch-and-grab era.
Orr also thinks goalies should be allowed to help their defensemen more instead of being held up by the trapezoid.
Other issues are addressed in the interview, too. Worth a read.
Related: “It would be outrageous not to have a season,”says Orr
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.