With baseball still buzzing about the Mitchell Report, the NHL asserted yesterday that use of performance-enhancing drugs is not an issue among hockey players.
"I don't think we've ever had the same problem," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told the Canadian Press. "It's simply not part of their culture. We have tested NHL players up to three times a year since January 2006 and obviously have not had many issues other than one failed test."
Defenseman Sean Hill, of the Minnesota Wild, is the only player who has violated the NHL's anti-doping policy; he was hit with a 20-game suspension last spring while playing for the Islanders.
The NHL's anti-doping policy has repeatedly been called into question by Montreal lawyer Dick Pound, the former chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency. He has said the policy is "very seriously flawed" and in November 2005 estimated that one-third of NHL players were likely taking performance-enhancing substances, mainly stimulants.
* Andy McDonald, a key member of the Anaheim Ducks' Stanley Cup team last season, was traded to St. Louis for Doug Weight, Michal Birner and a seventh-round pick in next year's entry draft.
In games last night:
* At Raleigh, N.C., Dion Phaneuf scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third period to lead the Calgary Flames past the Carolina Hurricanes, 4-3. Calgary is 4-0 on its six-game road trip.
* At Washington, Tim Connolly's goal late in the third period lifted the Buffalo Sabres to a 5-3 victory over the Capitals.
* At Anaheim, Marian Gaborik, Eric Belanger Brian Rolston and Brent Burns all scored power-play goals in the second period as Minnesota rolled to a 5-2 win over the Ducks.
* At Atlanta, Vesa Toskala stopped 24 shots as Toronto blanked the Thrashers, 4-0. *