Ray Emery

Emery to start third straight for Chicago


The Chicago Blackhawks will give Ray Emery the start tonight when they take on the Wild in Minnesota (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

It’ll be his third start in a row — and that’s an interesting development.

Over the weekend, Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville played coy when asked about the possibility of platooning both Emery and Corey Crawford in goal for the playoffs.

“You never know,” Quenneville told ESPN Chicago. “I don’t want to say no. We’ll see.”

Emery got back-to-back games against the Preds over the weekend and responded with a pair of wins, including a 20-save shutout on Saturday that left Quenneville impressed.

“I thought he was in control around the net against that team,” he said of Emery. “There are a lot of scrambles, a lot of loose stuff.

“They create traffic, and I thought he found pucks and froze them and looked very big.”

This will be the second time this season Emery has started more than two games in a row. The other stretch came in mid-February, when he started four straight while Crawford was out with an upper-body injury.

Without reading too much into this latest decision, it almost sounds as though Quenneville is doing two things.

One, rewarding Emery for his recent performances, and 2) testing the 30-year-old by seeing how he holds up to a starter’s workload.

“Based on how [Emery’s] playing, it gives him the chance to get some consecutive games,” Quenneville told NHL.com. “We’ll see how he handles it.”


Will Chicago use Crawford and Emery in the playoffs?

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?