Calgary Flames v San Jose Sharks

Wideman, Monahan placed on IR

The Calgary Flames’ list of ailments has grown by two key ones. The club announced today that veteran defenseman Dennis Wideman (fractured hand, out 6 to 8 weeks) and rookie forward Sean Monahan (hairline fracture in foot, week to week) have been placed on injured reserve.

In response, the Flames have called up center Paul Byron from AHL Abbotsford.

Other Calgary players on injured reserve:
— D Mark Giordano (broken ankle, week to week)
— F Curtis Glencross (knee, 2 to 3 weeks)
— F TJ Galiardi (back spasms, day to day)

The Flames have just two wins in their last 10 games and are facing a pair of tough outings in Anaheim Friday and Los Angeles Saturday.

Wideman leads Calgary in average ice time (26:15) and has 12 points in 24 games. Suffice to say, his absence will be felt on a team that was already among the NHL’s worst.

Report: Kings, Richards nearing settlement

Mike Richards
Leave a comment

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
Leave a comment

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?