Patrick Roy

Patrick Roy impressed by ‘crazy’ Chicago fandom


There’s a pretty good rivalry brewing in the Central Division between Chicago and Colorado but, according to Avs head coach Patrick Roy, it’s tough to compare the two fanbases right now.

Here’s more, from the Denver Post:

The subject of all those Blackhawk-red jerseys that were in the stands of the Pepsi Center Wednesday night came up in today’s press briefing with Patrick Roy. Hey, a sellout’s a sellout, but there is no doubt Roy and the Avs want to see more of their own jerseys in the stands from now on, especially if the Avs are to meet Chicago in the playoffs…

“Ten years ago or 12 years ago, there was nobody in Chicago at their games. I didn’t want to play those games because they were boring games,” Roy said. “It was 8,000 people and it was like ‘ughh.’ Even if they tried to be loud, at the national anthem, it was boring going in and playing there.

“Now, 10 years later I’m coming back and it’s crazy over there and they’re all over the place. Then, I think they’re a great example for us. I’m not saying the fans of Denver will follow our team like they do on the road, but I think it’s possible for us to create something close to that.”

There were 18,007 people in attendance for Colorao’s 3-2 win at the Pepsi Center on Thursday night, well above the Avs’ season average of 16,066.

Roy’s comment is just the latest example of a NHL city taking note of traveling Blackhawks fans. This past summer, the Blues announced four games on the 2013-14 schedule would not be available for single-game ticket purchases: Opening night Oct. 3 (Nashville), Oct. 9 (Chicago), Dec. 28 (Chicago) and Apr. 13 (Detroit).

Why those games?

Here’s more, from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

The Blues are one of the NHL teams this season, including Nashville, which are requiring fans to buy tickets to multiple games in order to acquire them for meetings against Chicago.

In recent years, the Blackhawks have attracted huge crowds to Scottrade Center, at times taking over the in-game atmosphere, and that could continue after the ‘Hawks won their second Stanley Cup in four years in 2012-13.

As mentioned, Nashville also had a similar ticket initiative, designed to “keep the red out” of Bridgestone Arena.

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

Montreal Canadiens v Minnesota Wild
Leave a comment

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.