Between the Pipes: NHLPA grievance over Richards, concussion protocol, Gudas ready

BTP

Hey Flyers fans! It's that time for another edition of Between the Pipes where we highlight some top headlines from the world of hockey. 

NHLPA files a grievance over Mike Richards' terminated contract [Lisa Dillman – Los Angeles Times

Hopkins Take: This was not a surprising move by any means. In fact, it had been expected since the contract was terminated in late June. The Players Association had 60 days to file and the case will now be heard by an independent arbitrator. Of note, Mike Richards has yet to be charged of any wrongdoing. The investigation is ongoing into his detention at the Canadian border where he was alleged to be in possession of narcotic pain relievers without a prescription. The Kings are walking a slippery slope here as some are calling for equal treatment with defenseman Slava Voynov, who was arrested for a domestic dispute and is serving a 90-day jail term. Some feel as though if the Kings are moving to terminate Richards' deal, they should terminate Voynov's as well. Time will tell how this story ends, but one thing is for sure – it will not be a cordial affair. 

NHL should follow NFL's lead on concussion spotting and protocol [Allan Muir – SI.com

Hopkins Take: The NFL giving concussion spotters the ability to go right to on-field officials with immediate concerns is a great move and the NHL would be wise draw up a similar proposal. Flyers fans certainly don't have to look very far to see just how debilitating and life-altering concussions can be; they ended the careers of former captains Keith Primeau and Chris Pronger and severely derailed the career of Eric Lindros. The league's current policy is good, but it can – and needs to be – better. The NHL should consider taking a page out of the NFL's playbook and instituting a concussion spotter in the press box for each game. That appointed official would then have the ability to converse with on-ice officials and alert them of players that need to undergo immediate evaluation. Not only will improving current procedures extend careers, it will also improve long-term quality of life. 

Injuries behind him, Radko Gudas ready to earn spot on Flyers roster [Bill Meltzer – Hockeybuzz

Hopkins Take: Radko Gudas was the icing on the cake in the trade that sent defenseman Braydon Coburn to the Tampa Bay Lightning for a 2015 first-round draft pick. His hard-nosed style of play is similar to former Flyer Nicklas Grossmann and his contract is more cap-friendly to boot. At only 25 years of age, he has all the makings of a top-six guy; he just needs to prove himself and win a spot in camp. The Flyers currently have a logjam on the blue line and unless Ron Hextall can move a contract – or two – before the start of the regular season, head coach Dave Hakstol will have a few tough decisions to make on who rounds out his roster come opening night. 

Zach Hopkins is a contributing writer for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on Twitter @healedbyhockey.