The New Jersey Devils and Columbus Blue Jackets are telling players that have been assigned to the AHL during the NHL lockout to secure housing for the entire season.
This according to the Globe and Mail’s David Shoalts, who calls it a sign New Jersey and Columbus management believe the NHL’s work stoppage could cost the entire 2012-13 schedule.
Among the players told to secure housing were Devils defenceman Adam Larsson and forwards Jacob Josefson, Adam Henrique and Mattias Tedenby, who all played in the NHL last season. The four players, who are still on NHL entry-level contracts and thus qualify to play in the AHL, are with the Albany Devils.
The roster of the Blue Jackets’ AHL farm team, the Springfield Falcons, includes forwards Ryan Johansen, Cody Bass, Cam Atkinson and Ryan Russell and defencemen Cody Goloubef, John Moore and David Savard, who all spent significant time in the NHL with the Blue Jackets last season.
Not that this is anywhere close to definitive proof the entire NHL season will be cancelled. We’re pretty sure there are month-to-month rentals in Albany and Springfield. Perhaps players are just being advised to move into something a little more permanent than the local Howard Johnson.
Still, the fact they’re being told to prepare for the possibility is somewhat disconcerting. (Though most of us were fairly disconcerted already.)
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.