There’s no doubting Winnipeg defenseman Dustin Byfuglien is a big guy. We saw him looking a bit bigger than normal in September at former teammate Dave Bolland’s wedding. The summer before that saw him arrested for drunken boating and weighing in at over 280 pounds.
Fast-forward to today where the Winnipeg Free Press’ Gary Lawless opines about Byfuglien weighing in at 302 pounds at the end of this season. Lawless says GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has a harder job to do now because Big Buff won’t stay slim.
No, the Jets can’t dump Byfuglien on someone else’s lap unless they are willing to accept a deep discount on the return. Not now.
Cheveldayoff’s best bet is to turn the trick no one has been able to — that’s to somehow reach Byfuglien and get him into shape and playing a more disciplined game.
The validity of that number is in doubt, however, as Lawless cites Hockeybuzz.com’s Pete Tessier as the source of the information. That site’s reputation isn’t exactly pristine when it comes to information but Lawless puts himself on the line to back him up.
That said, if Jets management isn’t aware that this is how things go for Byfuglien (bulks up in the offseason, gets in shape during it) then perhaps they need to move him just to spare themselves of frustration. As it is, Cheveldayoff and the Jets might not have to look so hard to find a team willing to add a player of his talent.
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.