Markus Granlund; Boone Jenner

Blue Jackets prospect may face suspension for questionable hit in WJC prelim


Team Canada’s shootout win over Sweden in preliminary action wasn’t without some controversy.

Forward Boone Jenner, a top Blue Jackets prospect, delivered what appeared to be a late hit on Swedish forward Jesper Pettersson. Jenner received a five-minute major for charging and a game misconduct and faces discipline by the IIHF that could put his status in doubt for the World Junior Championships which begin on December 26.

Here’s video of the play courtesy of HockeyVideoHD on YouTube.

Mark Masters of TSN heard from Jenner who defended the hit.

“It happened pretty fast,” Jenner said after Canada’s 2-1 shootout win. “I was just in on the forecheck, forechecking hard, just trying to finish my check and thought I made sure my arm and my shoulder were down so I thought it was a clean hit.”

Pettersson had to be removed from the ice on a stretcher. If Jenner is given a lengthy suspension, Team Canada will be down two forwards after Charles Hudon had to leave due to a back injury. Mark McNeill replaced him on the roster.

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?