Canada's Green Party names pugilist-turned-politician Georges Laraque their deputy leader

laraquethepolitico.jpgIt might be hard to believe, but one of the league’s best fighters in ages retired to a life that some might describe as cuddly. Some might even call him a “tree hugger.”

Georges Laraque retired from hockey after being bought out by the Montreal Canadiens and the politically active pugilist was just named the deputy leader of the Green Party of Canada.

Elizabeth May has named former Montreal Canadiens enforcer Georges Laraque as the Green Party’s deputy leader, in an apparent move to boost the party’s political presence in Quebec.

Laraque, 33, replaces Jacques Rivard, who left the Greens for the Bloc Quebecois last month.

Laraque is known for being politically active. He became a vegan in 2009 to protest the treatment of animals in the food industry, and explained his decision in a lengthy post on his website,

“I love animals, and I don’t believe humans can treat them as commodities and cause them harm,” he wrote.

Laraque is an example of an enforcer whose off-ice demeanor breaks character. Fighters and bruisers can be some of the kindest, gentlest hockey players around even if they beat the bejesus out of each other for a living. It’s refreshing and kind of amusing to read Laraque give the kind of quotes you’d normally read from a teenage celebrity who weighs 80 lbs. (not 260 lbs. like Laraque).

Congratulations to Laraque. Might he follow fellow former-Canadien Ken Dryden and pursue a high-profile politician in Canada? We’ll have to see about that one.

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?