SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 13: Alexander Radulov #47 of Russia looks on against Slovenia during the Men's Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group A game on day six of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 13, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.

Russian coach suggests Radulov needs to be scratched


Russia features a talented forward group and very intimidating top power-play unit, one that needs to be effective to win games. So it’s particularly telling the U.S. fared better on the man advantage in Saturday’s 3-2 shootout victory.

Both of the American goals were scored on the power play and they had Russian forward Alexander Radulov to thank for both opportunities, something Russia head coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov was particularly unhappy about.

Bilyaletdinov, speaking through a translator, singled out Radulov after the game and suggested that he should be scratched “among other things,” according to writer Dan Rosen.

It’s worth adding that Radulov did help Pavel Datsyuk net the game-tying goal by screening American goalie Jonathan Quick.

VIDEO: Oshie the hero — watch it all again

Radulov is no stranger to criticism. When he attempted to return to the Nashville Predators in 2012 after an extended stay in the KHL, he came under fire for breaking curfew during the playoffs.

Despite recording seven points in nine NHL games and another six points in eight postseason contests, Nashville didn’t want to re-sign him in the summer of 2012 and he ended up heading back to the KHL.

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?