But unlike MLB or the NFL, the NHL does not test during the off-season, nor once the playoffs have started. (This week the Capitals are facing the Canadiens in an Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.) Polk County officials noticed that of the 10 FedEx and U.S. Postal Service labels for packages mailed in 2008 and '09 between Thomas and Nagel that law enforcement officials obtained in their investigation, eight are dated during the period when the Capitals were either in the playoffs or out of season, and one was dated the day before the end of the 2007--08 season. After the arrest of Nagel, says Judd, "the NHL head of security was more concerned about how we got jurisdiction to arrest him [in Virginia]."
"I don't know whether the NHL has a steroid issue or not," Judd says, "but they certainly are very uncomfortable with us asking questions about it." The lesson of baseball's steroid era is a simple one: transparency—not obfuscation or passivity—is always the better course.
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