Following a vicious knockout of Washington’s Patrick Wey during Sunday’s 4-3 shootout win, Preds tough guy Rich Clune discussed the series of events that led to the fight — and the aftermath.
“I reached out to the kid on Washington just to express the fact that I hope he’s OK and it wasn’t my intention to hurt him,” said Clune, per the Tennessean. “He was the one kind of engaging me, and I had no idea who he was. I don’t even look at the other team’s roster before the game.
“I just see the names they write on the board. The kid said he was OK.”
Here’s the fight:
Clune’s response came after Washington voiced displeasure with how the scrap went down. Head coach Adam Oates and forward Troy Brouwer both remarked that Clune shouldn’t have gone after a fighter as inexperienced as Wey — he had one prior career tilt, back in his junior days — and Tom Wilson was upset Clune didn’t engage him in a subsequent fight.
Clune said he didn’t want to fight Wilson because the Preds had a lead and he didn’t want to risk taking a penalty, but understands why Wilson, Oates and Brouwer reacted they way they did.
“I can understand the Washington organization and the Washington fans being mad, but there’s not much more I can say other than we’ll see each other at another date,” Clune said. “Patrick is going to bounce back.”
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.
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?