Florida Panthers trade Keith Ballard to Vancouver Canucks for Steve Bernier, 25th pick


ballard.jpgThe Florida Panthers traded defenseman Keith Ballard and prospect Victor Oreskovich to the Vancouver Canucks for big forward Steve Bernier, Michael Grabner and the 25th pick, reports George Richards of On Frozen Pond.

New Panthers GM Dale Tallon is shuffling a lot of pieces around and this could be a sign of more things to come as he attempts to rebuild the ailing franchise on the fly.

Ballard had 28 points in 82 games last season and will leave a $4.2 million mark on the Canucks’ salary cap through the 2014-15 season. Of course, his most memorable moment might be when he accidentally high-sticked his own goalie, Tomas Vokoun. Ballard provides extra depth (and a possible replacement for Willie Mitchell) for a Canucks D-core that was racked with injuries last season.

Bernier will provide the Panthers with a big forward to help fill the void left by the recently traded Nathan Horton. The 25th pick will allow Tallon to refresh a depleted farm system in Florida.

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?