The Elbow staff
OTTAWA, ON – The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) today announced that they are actively investigating an illegal ring that has been trafficking smelling salts around the NHL.
Authorities say that all 31 teams are embroiled in the investigation, with up to one third of all NHL players affected.
The problem has become so bad for some teams, with numerous players reportedly hooked on a special strain of the ammonia gas that has been circulating for the past six months. This new strain reportedly provides a much "higher" high.
"I was smelling 20 times a day," a player who wished to remain anonymous said. "It wouldn't have to be on game day, either."
"I'd wake up at 6am and need my first hit. Then I'd have another after breakfast to take the edge off. During a game I'd come to the bench and smell them with my head below the boards so the cameras wouldn't catch me."
As set out in the league's collective bargaining agreement, players are permitted to smell a maximum of three times per game. For many players, this only occurs at the start of each period.
But as the RCMP’s investigation asserts, many players use it during the periods, intermissions, and even socially.
"We've become aware of smelling salts parties that have been held up at several players' cottages in the summer," Sgt. Danny Christal told The Elbow. "They organize a large group of 20-30 people – including their partners – and load up on the gas."
"The fallout from these parties is always ugly."
The RCMP fears that the trend – as well as the new strain – will work its way down to college hockey players.
"Our biggest worry is turning up to a frat house full of teens juiced up on this stuff, imitating Ric Flair's 'Woo' because they can’t control their reactions to the drug."
"No officer or parent deserves to get that call."