NHLPA files grievance against Tampa Bay Lightning


Veilleux.jpgThe situation in Tampa Bay, as the team searches for a general
manager, is getting a bit messy as we learn that the NHLPA is planning
on filing a grievance against the Lightning on pending free agent
Stephane Veilleux.

to a report by Michael Russo of the Minnesota Star-Tribune
, agent
Alan Walsh is saying that the team is refusing to pay for a shoulder
surgery for Veilleux because of their claim that the injury is not
hockey related. The injury was first discovered during end of the season
physicals, and a second opinion by Wild doctors diagnosed Veilleux with
a torn labrum.

“They acknowledge when he left Minnesota and was examined
by the Wild doctors in the end-of-season medical [in 2009], he was
fine, so this was not a previous injury,” said Walsh. “And the same
Lightning doctor that detected this problem and became suspicious at
the end of this season cleared him at the beginning of the season
because both shoulders had the same level of strength.”

response is,’Yes, our doctor agrees, it has to be fixed now, he
definitely has a torn labrum and he needs surgery, however, it’s not a
hockey-related injury, so we’re not responsible,” Walsh said.

The Lightning are claiming that since they cannot pinpoint an exact
moment that the injury occurred, they say that the injury was perhaps a
result of Veilleux’s frequent ping pong playing. Since the Lightning
claim the injury was not hockey related, then they are not bound by the
CBA to pay for his surgery.

Walsh says the NHLPA is moving forward
with a grievance as soon as possible so that the surgery can happen
sooner than later.

It’s rare that a team will flat out refuse to
pay for a surgery and there’s been instances where the team even covers
non-hockey related injuries. With the team unable to actually prove that
the injury is or isn’t hockey-related it will be interesting to see how
the grievance plays out. Since a torn labrum can happen over time,
through games and games of hitting and flat out just playing hockey,
there’s a good chance a ruling will go in favor of Veilleux.

Even if the Lightning are able to win their case, it’s a losing situation for the team. The Lightning will now have the reputation of a team that won’t take care of their own players. Not exactly what a team needs to have while trying to land quality free agents. It’s not as if Veilleux was injured while snowboarding, and no matter what the team might say there’s no way they can prove he was injured while playing ping pong.

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?