2010 NHL free agency: Lightning sign forward Chris Durno

chrisdurno.jpgThe Lightning are at it again. It might be a Sunday morning in late July but that isn’t stopping Steve Yzerman from helping the Lightning fill out ranks on the team as the team announced the signing of forward Chris Durno today to a one-year, two-way contract.

The six-foot-four 205-pounder had four goals and eight points in 41 games with the Colorado Avalanche last season. He played 43 games with the Avs the previous two seasons.

Durno also played in 17 games with Lake Erie last season, recording 10 goals and 18 points.

Durno, a Michigan Tech alum, likely isn’t being counted on for much more than being fourth line depth for the Lightning but at the very least, he’s got a huge cult following now thanks to Maple Leafs blog Down Goes Brown. DGB tells the story of a classic non-battle at Maple Leaf Gardens between Denis Savard and Gary Leeman on Hockey Night In Canada where some shoddy camera work ensures that a young Chris Durno makes his first appearance on television before he ever became a professional hockey player.

In the middle of Leeman and Savard’s dance of futility, the camera pans by a young hockey fan wearing a #8 Leafs jersey that reads “Durno”. This begs two questions: how bad were the camera angles in Maple Leaf Gardens that a small child could block them, and what the heck is a “Durno”? Stay with me, I’m going somewhere with this.

Since nobody by that name ever played for the Leafs, I’m going to assume it’s the kid’s name. A few minutes of google research reveals a journeyman minor leaguer named Chris Durno, who at the age of 28 finally made his NHL debut this year by playing two games for the Avalanche. Chris Durno grew up in Scarborough, would have been nine years old when this game was played, and according to this interview he always wore #8 when he was growing up.

You know what? I’m going to go ahead and make the claim that that’s future NHLer Chris Durno blocking the camera in the middle of this fight!

Commenters confirmed that it was indeed Durno and now he’s an instant legend amongst Down Goes Brown’s army of followers. For a fourth liner/AHL guy, there’s probably not a better way to live in the hockey world. Not everyone can be Paul Bissonette after all.

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.