NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 20: Jaromir Jagr #68 of the New Jersey Devils in action against the Minnesota Wild at the Prudential Center on March 20, 2014 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Wild 4-3 in overtime. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Jagr sees opportunity in Devils’ slim playoff hopes


Leave it to Jaromir Jagr to find the silver lining in the New Jersey Devils’ dreary situation. With 10 games left in the Devils’ schedule, they need to win all of their remaining games or come close to it in order to make the playoffs.

That’s a highly improbable task, but the 42-year-old forward is thinking: What if we pull it off?

“We have an opportunity to make a great story if we make it,” Jagr said, per the Star-Ledger. “So at least it’s exciting. That’s the way I look at it.

“It would be something to remember. Something special. If we get in, I’d rather get in by winning the last 10 games.”

Last 11 contests actually, given that the hypothetical streak would start with their 3-2 victory over Toronto on Sunday.

The Devils will try to keep that hope alive tonight against the Phoenix Coyotes. Like the Devils, Phoenix is battling for a playoff spot, although the Coyotes don’t need a finish worthy of a Hollywood movie to secure a postseason berth.

Report: Kings, Richards nearing settlement

Mike Richards
Leave a comment

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
Leave a comment

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?