Calgary Flames GM Jay Feaster hammered home the theme of the team’s system being a “meritocracy” during a radio interview with Sportsnet’s Pat Steinberg.
“The philosophy really is about merit and ‘what have you done for me last shift,'” Feaster said. “That’s ultimately where we want to be as an organization … I believe it’s the fair way to do it and right way to do it.”
Feaster brought up that subject in regard to goaltending prospect Leland Irving – a netminder struggling to make a leap in the system despite being a former first-round pick.
While that’s the tougher side of the policy, Feaster wasn’t shy about praising the merits of Sven Baertschi, who is off to a strong AHL start with the Abbotsford Heat. Most specifically, Feaster praised Baertschi because it seems like he isn’t treating a future NHL gig as a sure-thing.
“That’s why he is successful, has been and will be successful,” Feaster said. “Instead of taking something for granted and thinking ‘I’m just coming in here to bind my time and as soon as there’s a new Collective Bargaining Agreement in place I’ll be in the National Hockey League,’ he’s saying there are aspects of my game to work on and this is the perfect place to do it … he’s a special young man.”
Finally, Feaster had a strong recommendation for Heat coach Troy Ward, who some believed was the best choice to take over the Flames’ top job instead of Bob Hartley.
“It’s just a matter of time before he’s a head coach in the National Hockey League,” Feaster said.
If his work once again merits a few job interviews, that is.
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.