Afinogenov surprises Georgia beer league

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Taking a break from the facial injuries news, the New Jersey Devils
obituaries, and the intriguing yet perplexing personnel moves of the
Edmonton Oilers, we have one of those fun and uplifting stories that you
can only find once the season is over.

Some beer league hockey
players in Georgia were surprised last week when they showed up for a
pick game to find Maxim Afinogenov’s name on the list.
Ray Melick of The Birmingham News has the fun story:

agent said he wanted to skate,” Cheeseman said. “So I told her we
had an adult pick-up game on Tuesday nights, and (Afinogenov) showed up.
We limit the number of players, so you have to sign in and pay $10. I
made sure his name was first on the list.”

a pick up game isn’t going to be that competitive for Afinogenov and he
was invited to a league game later in the week. He scored 17 of he 29
goals in the game, as he switched teams in the middle of the game. He
also never left the ice in the second and third periods, as he was
hoping to work on his conditioning leading up to some international play
this summer.

The Thrashers forward stuck around after the game,
talking with players and signing plenty of autographs for kids with
sticks and pucks.

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.

We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.

It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”

Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)

Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.

So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”

… You get the idea.

The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.

The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.

It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.

The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.

As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.

Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?

The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.

This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.