Fifty NHL players were asked a number of interesting questions in ESPN’s NHL Player Confidential survey and one of the big takeaways was that a majority of players don’t believe that there is a cocaine problem around the league.
The results revealed that 58% of respondents said no, there wasn’t a problem with cocaine usage in the league while 10% said that there was and the other 32% responded with ‘I don’t know.’
While the results are one thing, the quotes that players offered up about the subject took things to a whole other level.
“You hear stories of it, and they’re kind of shocking. Maybe in the summer guys get into it,” another said. “But I’ve never really been on a team where guys are doing it all the time. I’ve actually never seen guys do it during the season or anything like that.”
“Honestly, I’ve been lucky because I’ve never been on teams where it is there. I have heard of some teams, though, where they’re going to go party and they have a day off the next day. And they will have some,” an unnamed player told ESPN.”
The NHL does not punish players for recreational drug use, instead, they push players towards treatment. The survey asked players how they felt about the league’s policy around recreational drugs and 24% said they thought it was a good thing while 14% revealed it is a bad policy.
Players offered up their thoughts on that subject as well, with cocaine and marijuana being mentioned.
“I think it’s both. If you’re talking about marijuana and cocaine … one of those drugs is probably beneficial, the other one is not. So maybe [the policy] needs to be redefined.”
If you’re a pro athlete, you should know what’s good for you. Marijuana — we all grew up [hearing that] it was so bad for you. And now it’s legal. Our kids are going to grow up [thinking] it’s just normal. It’s like beer is for us. But cocaine? I don’t think there is any room for that.”
Back in May of 2019, a video surfaced seeming to show Capitals’ forward Evgeny Kuznetsov near a table that had some sort of white powder on it and what appeared to be a rolled-up bill.
Kuznetsov denied the video and said that he had never taken illegal drugs in his life, but tested positive for cocaine on a drug test administered by the IIHF while he was representing Russia at the IIHF World Championship. After the failed drug test the NHL decided to suspend him for the first three games of the 2019-20 season.
Among other things players revealed in the survey was that Washington has the worst visiting locker room (42%), Winnipeg is the worst road trip in the league (42%) and 32% of players revealed they had a burner Twitter account.