Minnesota Wild Introduce Zach Parise and Ryan Suter - Press Conference

Parise expecting boos in first game back in New Jersey


Former Devils captain Zach Parise will play in New Jersey tonight for the first time since leaving two years ago — and he’s not expecting a warm reception from the Prudential Center faithful.

From NorthJersey.com:

Parise said if he is booed, “I’m fine with it.”

“I’m expecting it,” he said. “It’s fine. They’re passionate about their team and it’s understandable. I guess if they wouldn’t even care to acknowledge that I was back, that would be a little different.”

Parise’s good friends Andy Greene and Travis Zajac joked that they hope the crowd does boo him.

“They’re not really helping out my cause,” Parise said.

Parise bolted during the summer of 2012 by signing one of the largest deals in NHL history with Minnesota. It was a contentious split — just months prior to signing with the Wild, Parise helped the Devils reach the Stanley Cup final for the first time in nine years.

The departure also came after Parise was named the ninth captain in franchise history. He was awarded the “C” with the idea he’d be part of the franchise long-term, something Martin Brodeur referenced when Parise’s captaincy was announced.

“He’s got to stay here. That’s the bottom line,” Brodeur said, per the Star-Ledger. “That’s how we’re going to know how good he is as a captain.”

Devils GM Lou Lamoriello has remained tight-lipped about Parise’s departure, saying “it’s unfortunate, but it’s part of the business.” Some have blamed Parise for a lack of loyalty to the organization (Lamoriello said the team’s offer was “competitive” to the 13-year, $98 million deal Parise signed with the Wild) while others have blamed the Devils for not doing enough to retain their captain’s services.

All that said, New Jersey still sounds as though it’s a big part of Parise. He sounds like he cherished his time with the Devils and expects tonight to be an emotional one — even if there are boos.

“You’re going to see a lot of people I haven’t seen in a long time as far as their staff and their players. I’m looking forward to that. I have a lot of good friends there,” he explained. “I think it will be pretty emotional for me at the start, just a lot of really good memories from playing here.”

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

Montreal Canadiens v Minnesota Wild
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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 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.

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.