Ondrej Pavelec

Jets’ Pavelec back to Europe, this time in Finnish league

After a tough stint in the Czech Extraliga and a brief return to North America, Ondrej Pavelec is crossing the Atlantic yet again.

This time, the Jets goalie will join SM-liiga club Pelicans. News of his signing appeared on the Pelicans website Monday, meaning he’ll soon be skating alongside fellow locked-out NHLer Jamie McBain, who signed with Pelicans in early November.

Pavelec is essentially a replacement for San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi, who played 10 games for Pelicans on a lockout deal earlier this season, posting a 3.11 GAA and .904 save percentage.

Prior to signing in Finland, Pavelec appeared 14 games for Liberec of the Czech league, posting a 3.50 GAA and .896 save percentage. While those numbers were hardly awe-inspiring, it should be noted he played extremely well while representing the Czech Republic in recent international play.

The 25-year-old left Liberec in mid-November, stating his desire to return to Canada because “the NHL season could be saved.” But with no new CBA agreement on the horizon, he felt it best to head back overseas and get more work before the commencement of the 2012-13 campaign.

PHT Morning Skate: 10 years of Ovechkin; 10,000 days with Lamoriello

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Looking back at 10 years of Alex Ovechkin with the Washington Capitals, in case the above video made you want more. (CSN Mid-Atlantic)

David Conte spent 10,000 days with Lou Lamoriello and lived to tell about it. (TSN)

Want to spot some contract year guys? Here are 32 pending restricted free agents. (Sportsnet)

NHL GMs are starting to sniff around with the 2015-16 season about to kick off. (Ottawa Sun)

Some backstory on Zack Kassian that was passed around on Twitter last evening. (Canucks website)

Hey, you can’t say Raffi Torres hasn’t literally paid for his ways:

This is some quality chirping between Jaromir Jagr and Matthew Barnaby:

Cocaine in the NHL: A concern, but not a crisis?

Montreal Canadiens v Minnesota Wild

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.