Brenden Morrow began the season a member of the Dallas Stars. He’s now a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins following a recent trade.
Same for Jaromir Jagr, who was traded to Boston, and Derek Roy, dealt to the Vancouver Canucks.
Three big names gone in the days leading up to Wednesday’s NHL trade deadline. The Stars, as of Wednesday night, currently sit 13th in the Western Conference but only three points out of the final playoff spot.
Following the deadline, Stars’ president James R. Lites wrote a letter to the fans on the team’s website, explaining the recent trades.
Here’s an excerpt:
Dear Dallas Stars Fans,
We are sure everyone is spinning with the trades the franchise made this week. Tom Gaglardi, Joe Nieuwendyk, and I want to give you our insight into the process we’ve just come through and what it means to the near and long term prospects of our franchise.
First, one of the most difficult things hockey teams have to do at this time of the year is weigh their chances of competing for the Stanley Cup against the existing market place for veteran players, particularly veteran unrestricted free agents. In our case, Brenden Morrow, Jaromir Jagr, and Derek Roy were all unrestricted free agents after this season. That meant that we may only have been able to keep them for 12 or so more regular season games. Faced with that prospect, over the course of the last week, each player was purchased from us for solid, young prospects and/or draft picks. Believe me, we did our best to maximize the value for each player and did the best we could for the future of the Dallas Stars.
Does the NHL have a cocaine problem?
TSN caught up with deputy commissioner Bill Daly, who provided some fascinating insight:
“The number of [cocaine] positives are more than they were in previous years and they’re going up,” Daly said. “I wouldn’t say it’s a crisis in any sense. What I’d say is drugs like cocaine are cyclical and you’ve hit a cycle where it’s an ‘in’ drug again.”
Daly said that he’d be surprised “if we’re talking more than 20 guys” and then touched on something that may be a problem: they don’t test it in a “comprehensive way.”
As Katie Strang’s essential ESPN article about the Los Angeles Kings’ tough season explored in June, there are some challenges for testing for a drug like cocaine. That said, there are also some limitations that may raise some eyebrows.
For one, it metabolizes quickly. Michael McCabe, a Philadelphia-based toxicology expert who works for Robson Forensic, told ESPN.com that, generally speaking, cocaine filters out of the system in two to four days, making it relatively easy to avoid a flag in standard urine tests.
The NHL-NHLPA’s joint drug-testing program is not specifically designed to target recreational drugs such as cocaine or marijuana. The Performance Enhancing Substances Program is put into place to do exactly that — screen for performance-enhancing drugs.
So, are “party drugs” like cocaine and molly an issue for the NHL?
At the moment, the answer almost seems to be: “the league hopes not.”
Daly goes into plenty of detail on the issue, so read the full TSN article for more.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.