San Jose Sharks v Los Angeles Kings - Game Six

Sharks sign Stalock, Brown to two-year contracts


The San Jose Sharks have re-signed unrestricted free agent goalie Alex Stalock (press release) and UFA forward Mike Brown (press release) to two-year contract extensions.

Stalock, 26, went 12-5-2 with a 1.87 goals-against average and .932 save percentage while backing up Antti Niemi during the regular season.

Stalock also started Game 6 of the Sharks’ first-round series versus the Kings — allowing four goals in a 4-1 loss — before Niemi returned to the net for the Game 7 defeat that sent San Jose reeling into the offseason.

Brown, 28, was traded to San Jose from Edmonton in October. A gritty bottom-six forward, he finished with just two goals in 48 games for the Sharks, but had 121 hits.

Here’s David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News with the financial details:

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?