This afternoon, Dan Gross, who wrote the story about Dry Island, went on Puck Daddy Radio to discuss what players told him about Richards and Carter. Here's something that wasn't in the paper:
"And some of the players were a little upset about the drinking, and there was a concern that, at some point when the guys were injured, they were taking painkillers.
I'm not suggesting that these guys were abusing pills or anything of that nature, but the teammates were saying that they were drinking while they were being prescribed pills. So, it seemed like there was some concern on behalf of the players and also the organization about having these guys around."
I confirmed the quote with Dan just to be sure we weren't taking it out of context.
Any Flyers fan that has been paying at least a little bit of attention has probably heard similar rumors, but this is the first time anything concrete has even been said about pain medicine. However, it’s not the first time that story has passed through my inbox…
One popular sentiment seen today is people downplaying the whole story because the report is from a "gossip columnist," not a beat writer. Well… let it be known that said gossip columnist has much more experience than a number of the Flyers beat writers (nothing against them) and most likely wouldn't just throw nonsense out there, especially on a subject matter that isn't usually in his wheelhouse.
Gross made it clear that he wasn't suggesting Richie and Carts were abusing- rather, he was citing yet another example of the behavior that concerned the team and, apparently, the players. For as ridiculous as Dry Island was (is?), it's these sorts of stories that may have led to such draconian measures.
This was my biggest problem with Lavs' interview today- his awkward denial that these problems ever existed. Folks who think off-ice factors didn't play at least some role in the trades are kidding themselves. Mike Richards was traded for a prospect, a role player, and poorly used cap space. That wasn't based solely on a poor, injured playoff performance.
Listen to Gross' comments after the jump and the entire Puck Daddy interview here.