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Konopka’s Suspension Another Example Of NHL Hiding Things From Fans

Zenon Konopka is going to be an unrestricted free agent this summer.  He split this past season between the Minnesota Wild and Buffalo Sabres and nearly played himself out of the league posting three points in 59 games played.  Today it has been announced that he tested positive for a banned substance and will be suspended for the first twenty games of next season.  This will make it a hard sell for a new team to offer him a contract this summer.  He is 33 years old and barely hanging on to an NHL career.

My complaint is that we do not know what substance he tested positive for.  This is a big part of the story and we as fans are not being told it.

This comes from the same league that claims to offer 24/7 access on HBO because the fan wants to be close to their NHL team.

The reality is the NHL doesn't want the fan to know lots of things about the league.

This is the league that has been caught openly lying about the financial situations in Phoenix and Atlanta.  This is the league that doesn't share salary cap information.  Capgeek.com has done a good job of attempting to calculate it, but we have no way of knowing how accurate they are.  Injuries are not properly reported in the league.  They are "upper body" and "lower body" injuries.  That tells a fan nothing.  There are many examples of the NHL not telling fans things they would like to know.

The only thing gained in not telling anyone what Konopka tested positive for is it keeps speculation about steroids and other drugs to a minimum since none can be confirmed.  It wouldn't hurt the NHL in this case (and many others) to let the fan in and those fans that are let in are happier with the NHL instead of the current feeling where they are kept at arm's length. 

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I disagree, I think that this is a private matter that should be managed between the player, NHLPA and NHL.

They may be public figures but they still have a right to some privacy.

Posted by MontrealKing on 05/16/14 at 10:59 AM ET

PuckStopsHere's avatar

Konopka has a right to some privacy.  That fact is not questioned here and does not address the post at all.

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 05/16/14 at 11:19 AM ET


These things have a way of coming out, especially since he’s UFA and teams will have to know what they are getting into if they want him on their team.  If it’s maryjane or Sudafed or something else minor, then it’s not going to hurt his employment prospects since the acquiring team will not be paying him for those 20 games.  Give it time; we’ll know soon enough.

Posted by jkm2011 on 05/16/14 at 12:00 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

My complaint is that we do not know what substance he tested positive for.  This is a big part of the story and we as fans are not being told it.

How exactly would the league divulge which substance he used, solving your “problem”, and still respect his privacy?

Konopka’s own press release explained enough of the situation to satisfy my curiosity, and Im sure the NHLPA will make sure to spread the word to the rest of the players regarding the suppliment that he was using.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 05/16/14 at 12:25 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

^^^ THIS!!!

The NHL and the players do not owe the fans the medical records or blood test results of the players. That’s actually a creepy demand to want to know exactly what substance earned the suspension. They’re paid to play hockey, not to be paraded and publicly examined. This is a personal issue (and a personnel issue) and has nothing to do with actually playing hockey. That’s the part that fans get to see.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 05/16/14 at 12:28 PM ET

Tripwire32's avatar

Posted by Hootinani on 05/16/14 at 12:25 PM ET
Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 05/16/14 at 12:28 PM ET


I feel the same with respects to substance reports and injuries. It should be sufficient for us as fans to know that a player is injured or violated a policy. It’s none of our concern what the injury is or what policy is violated. All that should matter is the time period that he expected to not be available to the team. The rest of the information is private to the player; between him and the team. Our concerns should be generally limited to the game being played on the ice. It is creepy to want all the juicy details. This isn’t TMZ.

Posted by Tripwire32 from Kay He Mar Heart on 05/16/14 at 01:21 PM ET

PuckStopsHere's avatar

Is anyone here arguing that we have no right to know what Zenon Konopka tested positive for also willing to go on the record that we have no right to know what Alex Rodriguez has tested positive for or why he is suspended this year (hence it is a miscarriage of justice that we do know)?

Is there any significant difference between the two cases on this principle?

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 05/16/14 at 06:03 PM ET

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imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

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