Cocaine testing in NHL by end of season: Report

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ST. PAUL, MN - DECEMBER 3: Bill Daly speaks during a press conference prior to the game between the Montreal Canadiens and the Minnesota Wild on December 3, 2014 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)

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ST. PAUL, MN - DECEMBER 3: Bill Daly speaks during a press conference prior to the game between the Montreal Canadiens and the Minnesota Wild on December 3, 2014 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHL drug testing “should” include a test for cocaine by the end of the season, according to a report by TVA’s Renaud Lavoie.

Lavoie broke the news on Twitter, but said that there was “nothing [finalized] yet” between the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association. 

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In early October, TSN’s Rick Westhead spoke to NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, who acknowledged the league doesn’t test for cocaine “in a comprehensive way.”

The league’s drug test program is listed on its website and says the NHL tests at least two times per season for performance enhancing drugs.

From Westhead's report:

One-third of the 2,400 player urine samples collected each year are screened more closely for drugs of abuse, such as cocaine. Those more comprehensive tests have shown cocaine use by NHL players is on the rise.

He also noted the NHL Players' Association executive director Don Fehr, "raised the issue of cocaine" last season warning players about the "health dangers and the consequences of being caught."

Lavoie outlines possible punishment for cocaine usage.

“I’m happy to say I’ve never been around it. I’ve never seen it in person so, I was grateful to be a part of a group of guys who never was into something like that,” Kings forward Milan Lucic said in October when asked by Puck Daddy about cocaine usage in the NHL. “I mean, I know myself personally, I know if I ever got into that it would be a slippery slope and a bad road to go down. It’s nice that I’ve always had support especially from my parents and my family to keep me away from things like that.”

In September, Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Viktor Loov told a Swedish publication that there was “a lot of cocaine” in the NHL.

Last offseason, New York Rangers forward Jarret Stoll was arrested in Las Vegas under suspicion of drug possession. He was charged with cocaine possession, and pled guilty to misdemeanors. Stoll was then still a member of the Los Angeles Kings, an organization that has since brought in former NBA player Chris Herren to talk to its players about the dangers of substance abuse.

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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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