The Colorado Avalanche: News from around the NHL - August 19th, 2013

Thearon W. Henderson

The NHL will not bring in human growth hormone tests this season.

The NHL is at least a season away from implementing a drug-testing program to detect human growth hormone, deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in an email Wednesday.

“Our Performance Enhancing Substances Program Committee (PESPC) has discussed on multiple occasions over the summer the process for development and implementation of an HGH testing program,” Daly said.

“Part of our initial action plan is to educate our Players about the issue and about our agreed-upon intention to develop and implement a reliable testing plan. I expect that education portion of the process to take place during Training Camp and over the first several months of the season. Development and actual implementation of a testing program will take a little more time. While I can’t give you an exact timetable, I think it is safe to assume no testing program with disciplinary consequences will be in place prior to the 2014/15 season at the earliest.”

Some college players have been released.

Two American college hockey players have been released by their team following a race-fuelled fight earlier this month.

Preston Hodge, 21, and Matt White, 25, were let go by the University of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks on Friday. Another Mavericks player, 23-year-old Alex Simonson, has been "suspended pending further investigation by the athletic department."

The death of the 16 year old junior player has some investigating the health testing done on individuals.

In the hockey world, Jordan’s death has focused renewed attention on the extent of screening that should be mandatory for young athletes – a debate that eludes simple answers or recommendations for broader testing.

Basic diagnostic tests such as electrocardiograms (EKG) aren’t conducted as a matter of course for junior players.

In the QMJHL, as in other leagues across the country, it’s up to individual teams to decide how far they want to go in their screening. Typically, a player is examined first by his family physician – most major-junior league rookies are minors and must receive their parents’ consent – who completes the medical history questionnaire.

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