A lot can change between today and next Wednesday’s trade deadline, but it sounds like Martin St. Louis isn’t just asking for a trade … he’s being rather specific about the destination. TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that the Tampa Bay Lightning’s captain is currently “locked on” the New York Rangers.
There have already been rumors about the Lightning and Rangers discussing a captain-for-captain trade in swapping St. Louis with Ryan Callahan. There’s no word on whether that deal is still the foundation of such chatter, but it’s already been noted that St. Louis lives in nearby Connecticut.
The 38-year-old has a no-movement clause, so he can exercise some power in this situation, and might feel that much more justified in dictating where he goes after the controversies regarding being initially left off of Team Canada by Lightning GM Steve Yzerman.
St. Louis carries a $5,625 million cap hit that will expire after the 2014-15 season. If Callahan remains the big name the Bolts seek in return in a hypothetical trade, the Rangers would get an extra year of services, as it’s well-documented that Callahan’s deal is expiring after this season.
St. Louis has 56 points in 58 games in 2013-14 and topped all NHL players with 60 points in 48 games last season. The Lightning’s next game comes against the Nashville Predators on Thursday.
Does the NHL have a cocaine problem?
TSN caught up with deputy commissioner Bill Daly, who provided some fascinating insight:
“The number of [cocaine] positives are more than they were in previous years and they’re going up,” Daly said. “I wouldn’t say it’s a crisis in any sense. What I’d say is drugs like cocaine are cyclical and you’ve hit a cycle where it’s an ‘in’ drug again.”
Daly said that he’d be surprised “if we’re talking more than 20 guys” and then touched on something that may be a problem: they don’t test it in a “comprehensive way.”
As Katie Strang’s essential ESPN article about the Los Angeles Kings’ tough season explored in June, there are some challenges for testing for a drug like cocaine. That said, there are also some limitations that may raise some eyebrows.
For one, it metabolizes quickly. Michael McCabe, a Philadelphia-based toxicology expert who works for Robson Forensic, told ESPN.com that, generally speaking, cocaine filters out of the system in two to four days, making it relatively easy to avoid a flag in standard urine tests.
The NHL-NHLPA’s joint drug-testing program is not specifically designed to target recreational drugs such as cocaine or marijuana. The Performance Enhancing Substances Program is put into place to do exactly that — screen for performance-enhancing drugs.
So, are “party drugs” like cocaine and molly an issue for the NHL?
At the moment, the answer almost seems to be: “the league hopes not.”
Daly goes into plenty of detail on the issue, so read the full TSN article for more.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.