The NHL has a funny way of legislating bad behavior more harshly than dirty hits, but it’s pretty difficult to deny the need to suspend James Wisniewski for the lewd gestures he made toward perennial pest Sean Avery. TSN reports that Wisniewski will receive a two-game suspension for his childish behavior. (Read Joe’s initial take on the situation here.)
This is the second consecutive season the NHL suspended Wisniewski. Last year he received an eight-game suspension for a vicious charging hit on former teammate Brent Seabrook when Wisniewski was a member of the Anaheim Ducks.
Of course, Sean Avery is no stranger to behavior-related suspensions. He received a six-game suspension for making his “sloppy seconds” comment regarding ex-girlfriend Elisha Cuthbert’s relationship with then-Calgary Flames defenseman Dion Phaneuf. Perhaps Avery got a chuckle out of this one; does this mean that pantomiming a sex act on the ice is one-third as objectionable as referring to a former partner in a juvenile way?
Next time, Wisniewski should just do what other players do: scream those insults and profanities rather than providing an easily identifiable hand motion.
Wisniewski will miss a game against the Washington Capitals on Wednesday and a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday, but will be eligible to return for Saturday’s contest against the Colorado Avalanche.
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.