Ben Bishop

Ben Bishop undergoes successful wrist surgery


For Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop, the 2013-14 season was a breakthrough campaign, but it was also a painful one in some ways. That can be seen in how his run ended and the fact that he underwent successful wrist surgery on a torn ligament in his right wrist on Tuesday.

The team expects Bishop to be ready for the 2014-15 season’s training camp.

Remarkably, his wrist wasn’t even the issue that forced him to miss out on the Lightning’s playoff series (in which it must have been painful to watch his team get swept by the Montreal Canadiens). Instead, he acknowledged that the problem was a dislocated elbow suffered on April 8. This wrist issue had been bothering the U.S.-born goalie since February.

Combine those injury issues with being left off the U.S. Olympic team despite superlative numbers in 2013-14 and it’s easy to chalk this up as a rough year for the big goalie.

Still, it wasn’t all bad for the 27-year-old. He’s one of the three finalists for the Vezina Trophy thanks to those superlative numbers and it’s abundantly clear that he’s the go-to guy in the Lightning net.

The Bolts must hope that they can go to him if they make the playoffs next season, then.

Report: Kings, Richards nearing settlement

Mike Richards
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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
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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?