Pavel Datsyuk, Andrei Taratukhin

Pavel Datsyuk is sad about returning to the NHL?


Ilya Kovalchuk’s awkward stand-off with the New Jersey Devils in the wake of the lockout ending has many in the Garden State feeling perplexed. While he and Pavel Datsyuk will be participating in the KHL All-Star Game tomorrow, they both can’t be of the same mind about leaving Russia… Can they?

According to a story on, Datsyuk is feeling sad about departing the KHL to come back to the NHL in his own way.

“I’d be delighted to stay here in Russia and play the season to the end. There’s just enormous desire,” he said at the All-Star weekend. “But unfortunately, our desires don’t always match our abilities,” he added, referring to his NHL contract obligations.

All right, so both Kovalchuk and Datsyuk are coming back to the NHL without raising too much of a stink but quotes like these won’t sit well with some fans.

Before some of you get ready to run them off, look at it from their perspective. They got to play pro hockey at home in front of their own country’s fans. The one thing Datsyuk is doing a bit differently from Kovalchuk, however, is he’s making his feelings known without making his NHL fans anxious.

Meanwhile, he was doing stuff like this during the KHL skills competition today. Sorry Russia, we’ll be happy to have him back here.

Report: Torres won’t appeal 41-game suspension

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Sounds like Raffi Torres is accepting his punishment.

Per Sportsnet, Torres won’t appeal his 41-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The report comes just days after the NHL’s Department of Player Safety levied one of the longest disciplinary rulings in league history, citing both the severity of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ lengthy history of suspensions, fines and warnings.

There was some thought, however, that Torres would try to challenge the ruling.


He does have a history of success in that department. In 2012,Torres successfully appealed his suspension for a headshot on Chicago’s Marian Hossa, and had his punishment reduced from 25 games to 21.

Torres also isn’t considered a “repeat offender” under the current collective bargaining agreement, as his last suspension came in 2013.

Of course, part of that clean record is due to the fact he hasn’t played much. Torres has largely been sidelined by injury for the last two seasons, missing all of last year with knee problems.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman delved further into the repeat offender thing in his latest 30 Thoughts column:

If you read the relevant sections of the CBA, the league takes the position that the repeat offender status is only applicable to fines. Repeaters are fined on a per-game basis, non-repeaters on a per-day basis. (The former is more expensive, because there are fewer games than days in an NHL season.) However, if you go to Section 18.2, among the factors taken into account are, “the status of the offender and, specifically, whether the Player has a history of being subject to Supplementary Discipline for On-Ice Conduct.”

So, in the NHL’s view, a player’s history is relevant, even if longer than 18 months ago.

Should the report prove accurate and Torres doesn’t appeal, he will be eligible to return to action on Jan. 14, when the Sharks take on the Oilers.

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.