Wednesday morning, the Capitals’ top defense prospect, Madison Bowey, posted a six second Instagram video of himself taking a drag from, in the words of Puck Daddy’s Greg Wyshynski, “a long, loosely rolled brown-wrapper smoke of undetermined ingredients.” Wyshynski reported that the Hershey defenseman blew a cloud of smoke at the camera on his phone. An hour after posting, Bowey deleted the video.
Unfortunately for Bowey, screenshots of his video were already circulating around the internet because that’s how social media works when you’re a famous athlete. Wyshynski gave the young defenseman the type of national attention no one in the organization wants, posting the images to Yahoo.
On Thursday, word broke from the The Washington Post’s Isabelle Khurshudyan that the “team spoke with Bowey yesterday morning and the matter was handled internally.”
Team spoke with Bowey yesterday morning and the matter was handled internally. https://t.co/Fl5seGRij2
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) November 3, 2016
It’s unknown if Bowey received or will receive any punishment for the matter. The Bears play three games in three nights this weekend. The first game of their three in three is an away game on Friday against the Springfield Thunderbirds.
According to an article on Civilized, the NHL — unlike the NBA and NFL — does not punish players for using marijuana.
An NHLPA spokesperson – who spoke with Civilized on the condition of not being quoted – said that the league does not condone marijuana. However, it is not part of the NHL’s testing for performance-enhancing substances. When testing players each season, one third (which is no fewer than 200 athletes) are randomly selected to be screened for stimulants like amphetamines, narcotics like cocaine, and cannabinoids such as marijuana and hash.
Players aren’t identified – regardless of the results. And those who who test positive aren’t disciplined. Instead, the anonymous stats are presented to the NHL and NHLPA’s Performance Enhancing Substances Program Committee for review so that they can decide how to handle testing moving forward.
However, if a player is found to have a dangerously high level of a narcotic or cannabinoid, he is subject to mandatory assessment by doctors working for the NHL and NHLPA’s Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program. Those doctors could decide to refer him to mandatory substance-abuse treatment. The assessment and referral aren’t meant to be disciplinary procedures, but they are mandatory.
It’s important to note that we don’t know what Bowey smoked, and — even if he did puff marijuana — what he did was not against NHL rules. His biggest mistake was trying to look cool on social media, which, really, aren’t we all guilty of?
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