Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Drugs and Hockey

On Friday, I wondered about steroids and hockey. It appears that in the wake of the baseball steroid hearings in congress, many other people have wondered the same thing and have been asking questions

Wayne Gretzky reports that he doesn't think that steroids are a significant issue in the NHL. I'm sure this is true for finesse type players like Gretzky. Steroids would just slow them down.

However among goons, there appears to be significant steroid use. Dennis Bonvie and Dave Morissette both report this.

Morissette goes on to discuss stimulant use in the NHL. I think this is far more common then steroid use. Players take caffeine, sudafed or similar substances to help them "get up" for the game. Both he and Stephane Quintal report about stimulant use and health problems that they have experienced as a result of them.

Bob McKenzie makes the ridiculous claim that the NHL has a strong drug policy. Given the fact it doesn't have a CBA, it has no drug policy whatsoever. Even if there may have been agreement in principle on the issue at one point between the NHL and NHLPA, it is clearly not resolved until a CBA is signed. I imagine this alleged drug policy refers to steroids and not to the stimulant use that appears to be a bigger problem in the NHL.

I think this is a good example of Bob McKenzie spreading pro-NHL propoganda in exchange for "scoops". Tom Benjamin agrees with this theory. He thinks McKenzie breaking the story of a possible Todd Bertuzzi reinstatement before the NHL officially said anything is an example of this.

Dennis Bonvie says nothing about "goons" using steroids more than anyone else and Morissette, who played all of 11 games in the NHL says:

"I heard about guys in junior taking steroids to get bigger and build muscle mass," he says. "And not only tough guys - scorers too.

"Some of them had long careers in the NHL. I can't name them here, but you'd be surprised to learn their identities."

Although that's not even credible since the source isn't. He's piggybacking off of the baseball and US congress steroids hearings looking to make a buck.

Many steroids users are staring people right in the face (sudden weight gain/body fat loss), and most are "spunky wingers", replace spunky with a pinball reference if you like.

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