Already thin down the middle, the Edmonton Oilers will now be without center Anton Lander for at least a month after an MRI confirmed the 21-year-old has a broken foot.
“He broke his foot,” said coach Ralph Krueger. “That’s a minimum of four weeks.”
Lander suffered the break early in Wednesday’s game against the Stars when he blocked a shot.
In addition to Lander, two other Edmonton centers are out with injuries — Shawn Horcoff has a broken knuckle and Eric Belanger has been sidelined with a broken toe.
And while Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is expected to play Saturday, he’s been dealing with a sore shoulder that caused him to skip the Dallas game.
In a related story, the Oilers have called up center Chris VandeVelde from AHL Oklahoma City.
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.
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?