When Team Canada announced its list of players invited to their orientation camp, five goaltenders were included and none of them were Penguins netminder Marc-Andre Fleury.
It looks like after years of struggling in the playoffs, his country has serious concerns about how he might perform internationally.
“The Olympic thing, I’m not going to make too much of,” Penguins GM Ray Shero told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “But if he takes something personal, good for him.”
Being excluded from orientation camp doesn’t necessarily mean that Fleury won’t make the team, but he’ll have a particularly tough time. After all, if his performance in the playoffs is truly the problem, then that might be an unsolvable issue because he won’t get another shot at postseason redemption until after the Olympics.
Fleury might get off to a strong start in 2013-14, but his regular season performance has been adequate to great over the last few years anyways.
“The playoffs are the question mark he’s had the past four years,” Shero said. “I think it’s probably something on his mind.”
Perhaps Fleury will take the snub personally and that will be the motivation he needs going forward, even if it might be too late at this point for him to earn an Olympic spot.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Looking back at 10 years of Alex Ovechkin with the Washington Capitals, in case the above video made you want more. (CSN Mid-Atlantic)
David Conte spent 10,000 days with Lou Lamoriello and lived to tell about it. (TSN)
Want to spot some contract year guys? Here are 32 pending restricted free agents. (Sportsnet)
NHL GMs are starting to sniff around with the 2015-16 season about to kick off. (Ottawa Sun)
Some backstory on Zack Kassian that was passed around on Twitter last evening. (Canucks website)
Hey, you can’t say Raffi Torres hasn’t literally paid for his ways:
This is some quality chirping between Jaromir Jagr and Matthew Barnaby:
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.