PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Daniel Alfredsson signed with the Detroit Red Wings over the summer in part because he thought he could capture the Stanley Cup with them. They’re far from the favorites to win it all this year, but the former Ottawa Senators captain is upbeat after his team secured its postseason berth. (Detroit News)
Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $120,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Thursday’s NHL games. It’s $100 to join and first prize is $15,000. Starts Thursday at 7:00 p.m. ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.
New Jersey Devils coach Pete DeBoer was very unhappy with his team’s performance during Wednesday’s practice. (The Bergen Record)
Edmonton Oilers forward Boyd Gordon is done for what’s left of the season. (Edmonton Sun)
The Chicago Blackhawks scored their first overtime goal of the season on Wednesday. They had won previous games in shootouts, but never in the overtime period. (CSN Chicago)
Washington’s streak of six straight postseason appearances is over. (Washington Times)
Top Edmonton Oilers prospect Darnell Nurse will play in the AHL after completing his season with the OHL Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. (Edmonton Journal)
The Dallas Stars players talked about the oddity of starting a game down 1-0 in their eventual 3-1 loss to Columbus. (Dallas Morning News)
Highlights from Anaheim’s 5-2 victory over San Jose:
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?