One of the international heroes of the Olympic hockey tournament is finally making his way to North America to play pro hockey. Switzerland sniper Roman Wick inked a deal with the Ottawa Senators today and will compete for a spot with the team. Sens GM Bryan Murray had glowing regard for Wick’s game which shined on the biggest stage in the Olympics.
“We hope that we’ll give (Wick) an awfully good look through training camp this season,” said Murray. “He looks like a candidate to play in the NHL at some point. Whether he’ll have to start in Binghamton, that will be the question. He’ll answer that with his performance in camp.
“But he’s a guy with talent and skill … (he) was an outstanding player for Switzerland in the Olympic Games in big, big games. Based on that alone, you have to take a real serious look at him.”
If you think the Senators are jumping on Wick after only being impressed with his play in the Olympics you’re probably only half-right. Or maybe three-quarters right. Either way, it’s not totally accurate.
Wick was drafted back in 2004 by the Sens in the fifth round. He stayed in Europe and never made his way to North America and, as often happens with some lower-round European draft picks, it’s not worth the trouble to give up the professional life at home and end up potentially riding buses in the AHL in North America. Murray is banking on the “moxie” factor to hope that Wick can do the same thing with the Senators, be it in Ottawa or Binghamton in the AHL. Then again, it’s worth a one-year two-way contract to see if you can find a potentially special player. If he plays how he did for Switzerland in the Olympics for an entire season, he could do just that.
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.
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?