Jussi Jokinen

Jokinen appears likely to return for Pens


A healthy scratch for the first three games of the Penguins-Senators series, Pittsburgh forward Jussi Jokinen could be back in the lineup tonight for Game 4 in Ottawa.

“Jussi is a guy who’s been out of our lineup and you’re sitting on a guy who can make plays, score big goals, he’s a faceoff guy,” Pens coach Dan Bylsma said without confirming that Jokinen would indeed play. “He’s also a guy who would see time on our second power-play unit, as well.”

Pittsburgh’s power play is just 1-for-12 in its past two games — a far cry from the 9-for-25 pace it started the playoffs on.

Per NHL.com, Jokinen could center a fourth line between wingers Tanner Glass and Craig Adams.

Veteran forward Brenden Morrow may miss tonight’s game with an undisclosed injury.

Pittsburgh leads the series, 2-1.

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?