Nik Antropov #80 of the Winnipeg Jets skates against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on April 5, 2012 in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders defeated the Jets 5-4.
(April 4, 2012 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)

Jets’ Antropov fails physical, questionable for opener


The Winnipeg Jets got some bad news Sunday when Nik Antropov was unable to pass his physical due to an upper-body injury, according to the Winnipeg Sun.

Antropov played in 26 games with the KHL’s Astana Barys during the lockout and Jets coach Cluade Noel described his status as “day-to-day.”

“He’ll be assessed during the week, whether he’s able to play on Saturday will be determined,” Noel added. “We’re hopeful he that he will.”

Antropov had 15 goals and 35 points in 69 games last season.

Winnipeg is also missing defenseman Zach Bogosian, who had wrist surgery during the off-season. Bogosian had a surgical screw removed in December, but his return doesn’t appear to be imminent.

Bogosian averaged 23:18 minutes per contest and had 30 points in 65 games in 2011-12.

Both players were also a big part of the Jets’ penalty killing efforts and chipped in on the power play.

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?