The Nashville Predators had their chances to completely put away the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday. Problem was, they just couldn’t.
The result: The Coyotes pulled off a comeback 5-4 shootout win over the visiting Predators. Mikkel Boedker scored the only goal in the five-round shootout.
The Predators had jumped out to a 3-0 lead by the end of the first period, and regained a two-goal advantage early in the third, but couldn’t hang on.
Shane Doan and Antoine Vermette scored just over two minutes apart in the third period to get the Coyotes back on even terms. Vermette’s goal, which came off a breakaway, was initially waved off.
Vermette was sent in all alone but was tripped, and went crashing into Predators’ goalie Carter Hutton. The puck slid through Hutton’s legs and crossed the goal line, just before Vermette’s momentum knocked Hutton into the net, dislodging it.
Upon further review, the call on the ice was overturned and the goal stood.
Nashville forward Matt Hendricks, who opened the scoring, left the game after taking a heavy hit by Coyotes defenseman Derek Morris and did not return.
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.
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?