Andrew Alberts #41 of the Vancouver Canucks skates in front of the bench with the puck against of the Florida Panthers on January 9, 2012 at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida. The Panthers defeated the Canucks 2-1.
(January 8, 2012 - Source: Joel Auerbach/Getty Images North America)

Canucks stay busy, re-sign Alberts: one year, $600k


The Vancouver Canucks re-upped with another of their defensemen on Thursday, agreeing to terms with veteran rearguard Andrew Alberts.

The Province reports it’s a one-way deal worth $600,000, a significant pay cut from the $1.225 million he made on his last deal.

Alberts, 32, has been with the Canucks since the 2009-10 season.

His time in Vancouver has been marked with extended stints in and out of the lineup, as he’s played in roughly 50 percent of the team’s games each season.

In 2013, he dressed 24 times (exactly half of Vancouver’s 48 games), registering one assist with a minus-7 rating.

As mentioned in the headline, the signing came on a busy day for Vancouver’s defense.

Alberts — who goes 6-foot-5, 218-pounds — re-signed just a few hours after the Canucks brought back fellow blueliner Chris Tanev on a one-year, $1.5 million deal.

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?