Ryan Kesler

Video: Ryan Kesler injured on knee-on-knee collision, on his way back to Vancouver


The Vancouver Canucks have already been decimated by injuries this season, and they’ll have to contend with another one down the stretch drive.

According to Dan Murphy of Sportsnet, Canucks’ center Ryan Kesler is heading back to Vancouver to undergo testing on his right leg, after a knee-on-knee collision with Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jim Slater in the second period of Wednesday’s 3-2 shootout win for the Canucks. Slater was given a minor penalty for tripping.

The Canucks are currently on a four-game road trip. Just last week, it appeared as if Kesler, after a report came out that he requested a trade, which he denied, was on his way out of Vancouver by way of a blockbuster deal at the March 5 deadline.

That, however, didn’t happen and he’ll remain with the Canucks for the remainder of this season.

Right now, Daniel Sedin, the team’s top-line winger, is also on injured reserve after suffering a knee injury during the Heritage Classic earlier this month.

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?