Devils defenseman Anssi Salmela still months away from playing

anssisalmela1.jpgWith the Devils eventually having to shuffle players around to get under the salary cap, having injuries to players that will be counted on to play bigger minutes in the meantime is a killer. In the case of defenseman Anssi Salmela, his wait to get back on the ice could be a bit longer than expected following ACL and meniscus surgery Rich Chere finds out.

Defenseman Anssi Salmela, who will miss all of training camp following right knee surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus, said he will be examined by a doctor Sept. 28 to determine whether he can begin skating on his own.

Salmela is still probably months away from being able to practice or play a game.

“It was the ACL and meniscus. You have to be patient with that,” Salmela said as he arrived for his physical today.

“It’s alright. It’s good. I’m a couple of months behind, though.”

Salmela is one of the Devils’ top six defensemen and with the rumors whirling around about potentially dealing Bryce Salvador to help the team get under the cap, having Salmela gone for the first part of the season is an unwelcome bite to the roster. Right now, look for Mark Fraser to potentially see his minutes improve.

Since we know you’re curious if having Salmela start the year on the long-term injured reserve could provide some salary relief to the team, that’s not going to happen either as Salmela’s cap hit is just over $600,000 this year. Loophole Lou Lamoriello will need to find another way to make things work there.

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’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.