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.
Now that we’ve hooked you in with the headline, Rob Rossi shares some final thoughts on James Neal’s time spent in Pittsburgh and closes it out with a story Penguins fans may wind up really enjoying. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
Flyers GM Ron Hextall came out of the NHL Draft thinking the team did really well. Well I’d hope he would think they did well, otherwise the start of his tenure would be a bit dicey. (CSNPhilly.com)
This shouldn’t come as a big shock: The Red Wings have serious interest in Christian Ehrhoff. Them and about 25 other teams as well. (Mlive,com)
Ever wonder how the NHL and NHLPA settled on a $69 million salary cap? No, it didn’t have anything to do with it being hilarious. (The Globe And Mail)
Fans in Vancouver rallied outside of Gino Odjick’s hospital and the Canucks legend came outside to greet them. (Vancouver Metro)
Aaron Ekblad was pretty easy for the Florida Panthers to pick first overall. Him being as mature as he is at 18 years old was a big reason why. (Canadian Press)
He’s mature and he’s also motivated and confident as all get out:
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 ESPN.com 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.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.