Miikka Kiprusoff

Report: Kiprusoff will stay in Calgary, considering retirement


Miikka Kiprusoff will remain in Calgary and may retire at the end of the season, sources tell TSN’s Darren Dreger.

Despite a dreadful .868 save percentage, Kiprusoff had been targeted by Toronto as a potential veteran backup for James Reimer.

Kiprusoff is 36 years old and is signed through next season. However, his salary falls to just $1.5 million in the final year of his six-year, $35 million contract.

(And if you ask Mike Keenan, retirement by the end of this season was the plan all along; the final year of the contract was just tacked on to lower the cap hit. We wonder if the league might look into that if Kiprusoff does indeed call it a career.)

As for the Leafs, general manager Dave Nonis has said he’s fine going into the playoffs with Reimer and Ben Scrivens as his netminding tandem.

Still, expect to hear more chatter about Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo going to Toronto, even though Luongo’s contract is a totally different animal.

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?