‘Hawks trade up, take American prospect Schmaltz

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PHILADELPHIA — It wasn’t the blockbuster people wanted but for Nick Schmaltz, it was as big as it gets.

Schmaltz, a forward with USHL Green Bay, was taken by Chicago with the 20th overall pick at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft after the ‘Hawks traded up from the No. 27 spot to take San Jose’s selection. The deal initially had some buzz around it as those in attendance were hoping for a swap of players (the Sharks and ‘Hawks have had a few names out there), but in the end it was a deal for Chicago to land Schmaltz.

Off to the University of North Dakota next season — where he’ll play with his brother, Jordan, St. Louis’ first-round pick at the 2012 draft — Schmaltz does have some ties to his future city.

He spent three years playing bantam and midget hockey for the Chicago Mission program before moving to the USHL, and also spent some time with the U.S. National Team Development program, where he led the Americans in scoring at the Ivan Hlinka tournament.

As for the rest of the trade, San Jose picked up the 62nd overall selection, sending No. 179 to Chicago. The Sharks now have the 51st, 53rd and 62nd picks on Saturday, so they’ll be plenty busy in the morning.


PHT Morning Skate: 10 years of Ovechkin; 10,000 days with Lamoriello

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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.

Looking back at 10 years of Alex Ovechkin with the Washington Capitals, in case the above video made you want more. (CSN Mid-Atlantic)

David Conte spent 10,000 days with Lou Lamoriello and lived to tell about it. (TSN)

Want to spot some contract year guys? Here are 32 pending restricted free agents. (Sportsnet)

NHL GMs are starting to sniff around with the 2015-16 season about to kick off. (Ottawa Sun)

Some backstory on Zack Kassian that was passed around on Twitter last evening. (Canucks website)

Hey, you can’t say Raffi Torres hasn’t literally paid for his ways:

This is some quality chirping between Jaromir Jagr and Matthew Barnaby:

Cocaine in the NHL: A concern, but not a crisis?

Montreal Canadiens v Minnesota Wild

Does the NHL have a cocaine problem?

TSN caught up with deputy commissioner Bill Daly, who provided some fascinating insight:

“The number of [cocaine] positives are more than they were in previous years and they’re going up,” Daly said. “I wouldn’t say it’s a crisis in any sense. What I’d say is drugs like cocaine are cyclical and you’ve hit a cycle where it’s an ‘in’ drug again.”


Daly said that he’d be surprised  “if we’re talking more than 20 guys” and then touched on something that may be a problem: they don’t test it in a “comprehensive way.”

As Katie Strang’s essential ESPN article about the Los Angeles Kings’ tough season explored in June, there are some challenges for testing for a drug like cocaine. That said, there are also some limitations that may raise some eyebrows.

For one, it metabolizes quickly. Michael McCabe, a Philadelphia-based toxicology expert who works for Robson Forensic, told that, generally speaking, cocaine filters out of the system in two to four days, making it relatively easy to avoid a flag in standard urine tests.

The NHL-NHLPA’s joint drug-testing program is not specifically designed to target recreational drugs such as cocaine or marijuana. The Performance Enhancing Substances Program is put into place to do exactly that — screen for performance-enhancing drugs.

So, are “party drugs” like cocaine and molly an issue for the NHL?

At the moment, the answer almost seems to be: “the league hopes not.”

Daly goes into plenty of detail on the issue, so read the full TSN article for more.