NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly addressed the media here in Las Vegas about a variety of topics discussed between his players and commissioner Gary Bettman. He said the league’s investigation into the allegations against the Washington Capitals made by steroid dealer Richard Thomas was discussed on both days of the meetings — first by the players yesterday and then today when Bettman brought it up.
“Based on what we currently know, there isn’t any evidence to support these claims that came out of Florida,” Kelly said. “There’s no details of any kind, no names of any kind. We think they are exaggerated or fabricated claims, and certainly no current member of the Washington Capitals has been implicated in any improper activity or use of performance-enhancing substances.”
There was no vote on being for or against any alterations to the drug policy, but here were a few keys points from the discussions:
* Kelly wants any changes negotiated before the current CBA ends — it has two seasons left plus an option year.
* Kelly wants the league to use its influence on the AHL to help develop and fund a drug testing policy in the NHL’s top minor league. He said Gary Bettman didn’t agree with just how much the league can influence the AHL, but did say the league should look into it.
* The PA’s concerns with the stricter testing measures include a) just how much privacy will be intruded for offseason tests and b) what the league will do to corroborate false positive tests to keep a player’s reputation/career for being unfairly tarnished.