Head coach Kevin Dineen signals goaltender Jacob Markstrom #25 (not pictured) of the Florida Panthers to come off the ice for an extra attacker late in the third period against the Edmonton Oilers at the BB&T Center on November 5, 2013 in Sunrise, Florida. The Oilers defeated the Panthers 4-3 in overtime.
(November 4, 2013 - Source: Joel Auerbach/Getty Images North America)

Panthers GM Tallon promises changes, coach stays for now


The Florida Panthers entered this season with aspirations of competing or at least taking a notable step forward after posting the worst record in the NHL last season. Instead they have lost six straight games to drop to 3-8-4.

Their 4-3 overtime defeat against the struggling Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday prompted a late night management meeting that included Panthers GM Dale Tallon and minority owner Doug Cifu, according to the Miami Herald.

It’s clear the front office is unhappy with the state of the Panthers, but head coach Kevin Dineen still has a job for the moment.

“There will be changes though,” Tallon said outside the arena. “I don’t make rash decisions. None of us are happy. I have to fix this and I will. We’re better than this.”

The Panthers are about to begin a three-game road trip that involves contests against Boston, Ottawa, and the New York Rangers.

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

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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.

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.