Buffalo Sabres v Toronto Maple Leafs

Why did the Leafs send down Peter Holland?


A few eyebrows were raised today in Toronto when the Maple Leafs called up forward Carter Ashton from the AHL Marlies and sent down forward Peter Holland.

Yes, Ashton was playing well in the minors, but it’s not like Holland had been a disaster in the NHL. In fact, the 22-year-old has nine points (5G, 4A) in 22 games for the Leafs.

Then again, if the coach doesn’t play a player, there’s not much point in keeping the player around. In Holland’s last three games, Randy Carlyle had played him for 3:44, 8:52, and 4:30.

Of course, there’s another factor to consider here. If Holland plays 25 games for the Leafs this season, the 2014 third-round pick Toronto gave the Ducks to get him in November becomes a second-rounder.

Still, these were some interesting tweets from Sportsnet 590 radio host Greg Brady:

Fun times in Toronto, as always.

Related: Bernier’s silence shows Leafs’ frustration

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?