He’s No. 4: Bishop named U.S. Olympic reserve netminder


Ben Bishop is one injury away from being an Olympian.

That’s what Bishop has been told, anyway, according to TVA’s Renaud Lavoie:

Bishop, currently sidelined with an injury of his own (that’s not believed to be serious) was narrowly edged out by Jimmy Howard for the third and final Olympic spot on Jan. 1, when USA Hockey made its official roster announcement. Bishop said he was contacted by Panthers GM Dale Tallon, one of the members of the American selection committee, to explain that Howard was chosen based on superior experience, most notably in the playoffs.

This most recent call, though, was a happier one.

USA Hockey confirmed that Bishop would be going to Sochi should injury hit one of Jonathan Quick, Ryan Miller or Howard — and it’ll be interesting to see if the trio can stay healthy. Howard and Quick have already missed time this season with ailments and Quick, who made his return to the net in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Vancouver, was feeling rough on Monday and had to “gut through” practice.

Bishop leads all American netminders this season in wins (22), GAA (1.86) and save percentage (.935).

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?