Blackhawks coming to terms with the coming changes


It’s unfortunate that the Chicago Blackhawks haven’t been able to just sit back and enjoy their Cup win.

blackhawks_test.jpgOh, I’m sure they’ve been enjoying themselves individually. From what I’ve heard, the players have torn the city of Chicago upside down since their Wednesday night victory and I don’t doubt that the young superstars have had the times of the lives. As they should.

Yet for the team, as soon as that Cup was back in Chicago they had to start dealing with questions about the changes that will be needed next season. For the players, despite all of the good times, reality is setting in that there are a number of them that won’t be back in Chicago next season.

“We had a few moments when all the guys were together the other night and we realized a lot of guys are going to be moving in different directions,” said center John Madden, who will be an unrestricted free agent July 1. “(Salary) cap issues are going to be a problem. We have a good team, great guys and unfortunately we have to move on.”

The players know the situation this team is in, and you have to think they realize just how great it was for them to win the Cup this season. After the Blackhawks went all in to win this season, you have to wonder if this was their one and only chance to achieve NHL glory.

This team might not look completely different in a few months, but there will be some major changes. With the offseason so short for the NHL, that means these players don’t have very long to celebrate before reality comes crashing down.

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.