Justin Williams, Henrik Lundqvist,

PHT Extra: The Rangers blew Game 1, but it wasn’t all bad


Temporary studio for today’s PHT Extra, courtesy the fine folks at KNBC in Los Angeles.

Click play to watch us discuss which was more true — 1. the Rangers blew a great chance to win Game 1, or 2. credit the Kings for battling back after a tough start.

You might have guessed by the headline that we went with the first option; however, it wasn’t all bad for the underdogs from New York, who definitely impressed with their speed.

PS — We totally need one of those headline scrolling things for our studio back home. Except instead of headlines like “Doughty Plays Big Role as Kings Win Game 1,” we’d personalize it with stuff like “Halford to Brough: Stop breathing so loud, I’m trying to work over here” or “Bloggers shoot online video, have to put on pants.”

PPS — Sometimes we don’t wear pants.

Related: Kings know they got away with one

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?