Kings, Ducks won’t hold outdoor alumni game


For some, six outdoor games might seem like a bit much. Yet Gary Bettman might have a point when he pumps up the local aspect of the individual events; wouldn’t it be more fun if each host city put its own spin on each respective outing?*

In the case of Dodger Stadium’s outdoor game, the first big change – beyond the heightened threat of sunny weather – is that there will not be an alumni game. LA Kings Insider reports that the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks won’t feature heroes of yore ambling up and down the ice as part of the festivities.

Kings/AEG executive Kelly Cheeseman explains why.

“We went through that exercise ad nauseum to try to make that work, because … we were very excited about that possibility,” Cheeseman said. “But, unfortunately, just the logistics and the timing of our game, and the concerns of the ice conditions, aren’t going to allow us to pull off an alumni game …”

(Of course, it’s hard to ignore the lack of particularly appealing Ducks alumni options since they’re still a relatively new franchise. Well, unless Teemu Selanne retires and we get to see him pair up with Paul Kariya again, though …)

On the bright side, Cheeseman noted that the event with “definitely represent Southern California.” Feel free to speculate on what, exactly, that means.

* – Or outings, if you’re talking about Yankee Stadium.

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?

Goalie nods: Jones makes Sharks debut against ex-Kings mates

Martin Jones
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News and notes from around the crease…

Jones goes for San Jose

Martin Jones, acquired by the Sharks this summer, will make his first regular-season start for the club tonight against his old team — the Los Angeles Kings.

Jones, 25, spent the last two years in L.A. as Jonathan Quick‘s understudy. He was flipped to Boston at the NHL Entry Draft, then shipped to San Jose. Sharks GM Doug Wilson wasted little time locking Jones in — signing him to a three-year, $9 million extension — and Jones wasted little time locking up the No. 1 gig, putting together a stellar preseason.

For the Kings, Quick will get the start in goal.

Markstrom out for Vancouver

Jacob Markstrom wasn’t scheduled to start for the Canucks tonight — No. 1 Ryan Miller is getting the call — but the Swedish ‘tender won’t even dress when his club takes on the Flames in Calgary.

Markstrom suffered a lower-body injury at practice this week and is being held out of tonight’s action. In his place, the Canucks called up AHL netminder Richard Bachman, who’ll serve as Miller’s backup.

For the Flames, Karri Ramo is the opening-night starter.


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