This year’s Lester Patrick Award winners have been announced and if you’re not familiar with the award, it’s given out to those who have made significant contributions to hockey in the United States. This year, the city of Boston has a lot to be proud of considering who will be honored.
Hockey Hall of Famer Cam Neely, U.S. college coaches Jack Parker and Jerry York and American Hockey League president David Andrews have been named recipients of the 2010 Lester Patrick Trophy for outstanding service to hockey in the United States.
If you don’t know who Cam Neely is, I feel sorry for you. The Hockey Hall of Famer made his career with the Boston Bruins as one of the NHLs most punishing power forwards and scorers. He was as fierce with the puck on his stick as he was with his gloves off pounding someone into submission. He’s now the Bruins team president and forever known as “Sea Bass” from the movie Dumb & Dumber.
Jerry York and Jack Parker are two of the winningest coaches in college hockey and they both coach in the same town and against each other as rivals. York is the head coach at Boston College while Parker is head man at Boston University. Having that much coaching greatness in one city seems almost unfair.
David Andrews is the commissioner of the American Hockey League and with him at the helm, the league has flourished and seized control as the NHL’s go-to league for developing talent in the minors. He’s an excitable and emphatic and bold leader and one who you could say is virtually the opposite of Gary Bettman as far as public appearances go.
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.
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.