Danny Briere

Briere to make season debut for Flyers tonight


The Philadelphia Flyers have made the game-time decision for Danny Briere to play in tonight’s contest against the Panthers in Florida.

The 35-year-old forward missed the first four games of this season with a hairline fracture in his wrist. He suffered the injury while playing in Germany alongside teammate Claude Giroux.

As you probably know, the Flyers have been dealing with some serious injury headaches lately, so this comes as a breath of fresh air. Scott Hartnell’s foot issue has him out anywhere from one to two months while Andrej Meszaros is sidelined with a shoulder ailment.

Briere isn’t the only returnee to the Flyers lineup tonight. Brayden Schenn returns from his one-game suspension while Mike Knuble enters the first night of his second stint with the organization.

Briere scored 16 goals and 49 points in 70 games for Philly last season.

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?