Nazem Kadri

Leafs: Nonis ‘not surprised’ Kadri, Franson and Fraser remain unsigned


On a day where most of the talk focused on his own contract extension, Dave Nonis spent some time discussing three other pressing deals.

The club’s key restricted free agents — Nazem Kadri, Cody Franson and Mark Fraser — all remain unsigned as August draws closer.

But, according to Nonis, the timeline thus far has given him little to no concern.

“That’s not a red flag. It’s July,” Nonis said on Sportsnet 590. “I’m not surprised that they’re not signed, and we have a lot of time before we have to start worrying about it.”

Looking across the NHL, it’s easy to see why Nonis remains unfazed.

Several teams have opted to put RFA negotiations on the backburner while dealing with more pertinent matters, like unrestricted free agents and potential arbitration hearings.

St. Louis still hasn’t reached an agreement with Alex Pietrangelo, nor has Buffalo with Cody Hodgson. New Jersey still needs to reach a deal with Adam Henrique, as do the Rangers with Derek Stepan. Other key unsigned RFAs include Mikkel Boedker (Phoenix), Kyle Clifford (Los Angeles), Marcus Johansson (Washington) and Jared Cowen (Ottawa).

That said, Nonis doesn’t expect deals for either Kadri — the club’s second leading scorer last year, with 44 points in 48 games — or Franson, the club’s leading defenseman scorer, in the near future.

Kadri made $1.72 million last year, while Franson pulled in $1.2 million. Fraser, who emerged as a very useful defenseman in his first year in Toronto, made $600,000. All three are expected to be re-signed before the Leafs start training camp, which will begin prior to the team’s preseason-opener on Sept. 15.

Cocaine in the NHL: A concern, but not a crisis?

Montreal Canadiens v Minnesota Wild

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 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.

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

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.