Rangers’ Richards on win: “We needed it”


The New York Rangers’ 4-3 overtime win against the Boston Bruins wasn’t always as pretty as Marian Gaborik’s hat trick, but it gave the hyped squad their first victory of the season.

Brad Richards, 32, told ESPN’s Katie Strang how important it was to end that two-game opening skid.

“I can’t tell you how much we wanted that win. We needed it,” Richards said.

Technically, the Rangers might not have actually needed to win, yet one can sense the desperation growing for struggling teams like New York’s 0-3 division rivals in Philadelphia.

A look at the standings does indicate how much more comfortable things are with that W. The Rangers are now ranked fourth in the Atlantic and 12th in the East, but at least they’re not one of the three remaining teams* without a single point.

If you want a summary of how they generated that much-needed victory, these highlights should do the trick:

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* – That tormented trio includes the Philadelphia Flyers, Washington Capitals and the Carolina Hurricanes.

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?