Moen seems OK after skate blade scare

Quick note: some of those videos might make you a little squeamish. Nothing NSFW, just some scary skate blade injuries.

NHL players are so graceful and fast on the ice that it’s really easy to forget that they’re actually on skates. Sometimes a grizzly event reminds us all that, yes, these guys have potentially lethal blades attached to their feet.

Tonight was one of those moments. In the second period of a crucial Ottawa Senators-Montreal Canadiens game, Habs grinder Travis Moen took a downright scary skate to the face and naturally needed to miss the rest of the contest. Thankfully, it appears that he should be OK as reports indicate that he won’t need to go to the hospital. (Link to video of the scary situation.)

Here’s the story from the Associated Press.

Moen suffered a laceration to his face 10:41 into the second when he was struck there by the blade of Cullen’s skate after the Senators forward was upended along the boards in the left corner of Ottawa’s zone. Moen was trailing blood as he was rushed off the ice by trainer Graham Rynbend.

A Canadiens spokesman said that Moen would not return to the game, though he was not expected to need to go to hospital for any further medical attention.

Unlike hits to the head, there’s not exactly a ton of things that can be done about these situations. Sure there was some talk about different ways to protect a player’s neck after Richard Zednik’s horrific near-death situation but judging from Sidney Crosby’s “playoff beard,” most players won’t be able to grow a skate-proof beard like Adam Burish. (Don’t get me wrong, Sid, I can’t grow a beard or a ‘stache either. It is one of my greatest shames.)

Anyway, the reason this post is light-hearted is simple: it looks like Moen is going to be (reasonably) OK. At least, that’s my hope so I can continue to make horrible pun nicknames for him (like Travis Moen “The Lawn” … hey-oh!). Seriously, though, I hope Moen recovers quickly from that scary looking injury.

Add Lecavalier to list of expensive Flyers healthy scratches

Vincent Lecavalier
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Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?

While lineups are obviously subject to change, notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.

Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.

That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench, and that’s only counting what the Flyers are paying Gagner.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”

The quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.

Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.

It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.

Video: NHL drops hammer, suspends Torres for 41 games


One of the NHL’s most notorious hitters has been tagged by the league.

On Monday, the Department of Player Safety announced that San Jose forward Raffi Torres has been suspended 41 games — half of the regular season — for an illegal check to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The length of Torres’ suspension is a combination of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ history of delivering hits to the heads of opposing players, including Jordan Eberle, Jarret Stoll, Nate Prosser and Marian Hossa.

“Torres has repeatedly violated league playing rules,” the Department of Player Safety explained. “And has been sanctioned multiple times for similar infractions.”

The league also noted that Torres has been warned, fined, or suspended on nine occasions over the course of his career, “the majority of which have involved a hit to an opponent’s head.”

“Same player every year,” Ducks forward Ryan Kesler said following the hit on Silfverberg. “I played with the guy [in Vancouver]. He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”

As for what lies ahead, things could get interesting upon potential appeal:

Torres successfully appealed a suspension under the previous CBA, getting his punishment for the Hossa hit reduced from 25 to 21 games.

Under terms of the new CBA, Torres isn’t categorized as a repeat offender because his last suspension came in May of 2013 — more than two years ago.

Of course, part of the reason Torres hasn’t run afoul of the league in two years is because he’s barely played.

Knee injuries limited Torres to just 12 games in ’13-14, and he sat out last season entirely.