The Edmonton Oilers are going with a youth movement in their leadership group.
On Tuesday, head coach Ralph Krueger announced Jordan Eberle would assume full-time alternate captain duties while Taylor Hall would share the “A” with defenseman Nick Schultz.
“We feel it’s a good time for Taylor and Jordan to step up,” Krueger said. “It’s the passion they bring to the game, to our team and the city of Edmonton.”
Eberle, Hall and Schultz will replace Ryan Whitney and Ales Hemsky as Edmonton’s alternates. Shawn Horcoff will remain team captain.
“It’s exciting news, and it’s an honor to be a captain, but we have a lot of leadership in this room,” Eberle told the Oilers website.
The 22-year-old Eberle is headed into his third season with the Oilers and coming off a career year in 2011-12. He posted a team-high 76 points and finished tied for 15th in the league in goals, with 34.
Hall, 21, is also headed into his third season with Edmonton. He signed a seven-year, $42 million extension with the Oilers prior to the lockout and racked up 35 points in 26 games while playing for AHL Oklahoma City during the work stoppage.
“It’s a true honor to wear a letter for the Oilers,” Hall said. “There have been so many great captains in the history of this team.”
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.