Mark Streit #2 of the New York Islanders skates against the Washington Capitals at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on March 9, 2013 in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders defeated the Capitals 5-2.
(March 8, 2013 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)

Islanders don’t plan on trading Mark Streit


It’s unclear what uniform 35-year-old Mark Streit will be wearing next season, but it looks like he’ll play out this season in New York Islanders colors.

Despite reports contract negotiations between the Islanders and Streit have stalled, GM Garth Snow told TSN’s Darren Dreger he has no intentions of trading the offensive defenseman.

Snow is in a difficult position. The Islanders have a real shot of making the playoffs for the first time since 2007. Trading away Streit could undermine that but, at the same time, the Islanders’ core is still developing and they’re not yet viewed as a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.

Watching Streit walk away as an unrestricted free agent this summer — when the Islanders could have gotten top draft picks or prospects for him — would be painful.

It’s worth noting that the gap between Streit and the Islanders is reportedly $500,000 per season, so perhaps the two sides can still come together before the summer.

Streit is looking for a three-year deal worth more than the $4,750,000 per season that the Islanders gave defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky, according to New York Newsday.

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?