NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 27: Ryan Murray #27 of the Columbus Blue Jackets skates against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on February 27, 2014 in Newark, New Jersey.The New Jersey Devils defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Ryan Murray has knee surgery, likely done for season

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The Columbus Blue Jackets revealed that 20-year-old rookie defenseman Ryan Murray has undergone arthroscopic knee surgery and is expected to miss the next four-to-six weeks as a result. He suffered the injury during Monday’s game.

With the 2013-14 campaign winding down, it’s likely that Murray won’t be able to return before the end of the regular season. He might even miss the start of the playoffs, assuming Columbus can get that far.

It will be an uphill struggle for the Blue Jackets, especially now that they are without defensemen Murray, Fedor Tyutin, and possibly Nikita Nikitin.

Tyutin, who suffered a sprain ankle during the Olympics, is making progress, but Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards doesn’t believe he’s close to returning, per the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline.

Nikitin is dealing with an upper-body injury, but did skate this morning.

Murray, 20, unfortunately already has experience dealing with significant injuries. He missed most of the 2012-13 campaign after suffering a shoulder injury that required surgery while playing for the WHL Everett Silvertips. If not for that, he would have probably made his NHL debut last season following the lockout.

The Blue Jackets took him with the second overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

Cocaine in the NHL: A concern, but not a crisis?

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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 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.

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

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.