Johnny Boychuk

Battered Bruins hoping Boychuk returns tonight


The Boston Bruins have been hit hard by injuries, but they got some encouraging news yesterday.

Mere days after Johnny Boychuk’s scary fall, he was able to participate in a Bruins’ practice.

“It was all right; it didn’t feel awesome,” Boychuk told the Boston Herald. “I haven’t skated in five days or so. But at least I got back on the ice and moved around a little. It’s still pretty stiff. It’s been loosening up every day. We’ll see how it feels (Tuesday).”

The Bruins are currently without defensemen Adam McQuaid and Dougie Hamilton, which means that if Boychuk isn’t available, then Boston will have to call someone up before tonight’s match against the Calgary Flames.

Bruins coach Claude Julien suggested that they haven’t done that yet because they’re still hoping it won’t be necessary.

Meanwhile, Boston is also missing forwards Chris Kelly (ankle), Loui Eriksson (concussion), and Shawn Thornton (suspended pending hearing).


Hamilton will be out 2-4 weeks with his lower-body injury, the club reported today. Also, Dan Paille has an upper-body issue that’ll keep him out of the Calgary contest.

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?