Edmonton Oilers sign AHL star scorer Alexandre Giroux


alexgiroux1.jpgIt’s not likely to be a deal to find its way on to most of your radars, but Capitals fans who embraced their AHL farm team, the Hershey Bears, are likely snacking on a Hershey bar with a single tear today as the Edmonton Oilers signed away one of the Bears top scorers.

General Manager Steve Tambellini announced today the Edmonton Oilers have agreed to terms with free agent left-winger Alexandre Giroux on a one-year contract.

Giroux, 29, spent most of the season last year with the Hershey Bears in the American Hockey League collecting 103 points (50G, 50A) in 69 games. He also suited up for nine games with the Washington Capitals scoring once and adding two assists.

Don’t worry if you’re not too familiar with Giroux at all as he’s only played in 31 career NHL games. If you’re a big follower of the AHL, however, you should be very familiar with him by now as he’s put up some ridiculous numbers throughout his AHL career. His scoring totals last year are impressive, sure, but two seasons ago for the Bears he scored 60 goals and had 97 points in 69 games and has been a consistent 30+ goals per season guy for the last five years.

So how does a player like this do so well in the AHL and not get a sniff of anything in the NHL? If nothing else, it provides the line of demarcation to show how much of a difference there is between the level of play between the majors and the minors. For the Oilers though, it’s worth it to take a chance on Giroux. If he pans out and finds an ability to score in the NHL, they’ve got an incredible bargain at $500,000. If not, they send him to their AHL affiliate in Oklahoma City and the fans there instantly have someone they’ll be rooting for to score, and boy will he ever score.

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 CSNNE.com’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.