Patrick Sharp

Update: Chicago’s Sharp has ‘fairly severe’ shoulder separation


Yesterday, we passed along news that Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp would likely miss 2-3 weeks with an upper-body injury.

Today, the injury picture came more into focus — and it’s not good news for the ‘Hawks.

Sharp suffered a “fairly severe AC joint shoulder separation,” according to TSN’s James Duthie. It’s an injury that could sideline the 2011 All-Star for an entire month.

UPDATE: The Blackhawks have announced that Sharp will miss 3-4 weeks and that the injury won’t require surgery.

The 31-year-old forward was hurt during Chicago’s 3-2 win over the Avs on Wednesday night after he was driven into the boards midway through the third period by Colorado defenseman Ryan O’Byrne:

Sharp left the game immediately and didn’t return.

Following the contest, ‘Hawks head coach Joel Quenneville told reporters Sharp was expected to miss some time, but said the injury wasn’t season-threatening.

A three-time 30-goal scorer, Sharp has been a big part of Chicago’s remarkable 21-0-3 start to the season. He’s tied for third on the team in scoring, with 18 points, and is second among all skaters with 13 assists.

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?