Tyler Seguin #19 of the Boston Bruins bounces a puck on his stick during warm ups against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game one of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final at United Center on June 12, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois.
(June 11, 2013 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)

If Horton’s unavailable, will Seguin step up?


Boston Bruins forward Nathan Horton is day-to-day with a suspected shoulder injury and it’s not clear if he’ll be available for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday.

Horton has 18 points in 17 playoff games and was serving on a wildly successful line with Milan Lucic and David Krejci.

Jordan Caron will probably be inserted into the lineup if Horton’s out, but Caron won’t be the one that takes Horton’s top line spot. That assignment will likely go to Tyler Seguin.

Seguin skated alongside Milan Lucic and David Krejci after Horton left Game 1 in the dying minutes of the first overtime period. In terms of skill, Seguin isn’t out of place on the first line, but he hasn’t been producing lately. The 21-year-old forward has just one goal and five points in 17 postseason contests.

“He’s been skating well. To me right now, the only thing he needs to do is to be able to finish. If he can finish, it will certainly help his confidence, help our hockey club,” Bruins coach Claude Julien told CSN New England. “But [I’m] not criticizing his work ethic because he’s competing hard and he’s got some chances.

“Those things are certainly a positive thing. So there’s only one thing left to do, and you hope for his sake and our sake that [the offense] comes along.”

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?