Blue Jackets place Cam Atkinson on IR

1 Comment

The Columbus Blue Jackets find themselves in a familiar place – the Central Division’s cellar – and they won’t have one of their bright young prospects around to help them dig out of it for a week or two.

The team placed Cam Atkinson on the injured reserve because of a groin injury, according to the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline.

Portzline reports that Atkinson can be reactivated as early as Jan. 30.

The 23-year-old forward scored one goal in the three contests he played for Columbus in 2013. He really turned heads at the end of 2011-12, however, as he scored six points (including five goals) in Columbus’ two final games and 10 in his last six.

That output and some rave reviews prompted many to expect big things – even some dark horse Calder Trophy talk – but his bid for an early breakout has been placed on hold for now.

Report: Kings, Richards nearing settlement

Mike Richards
1 Comment

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
Leave a comment

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?