Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell set to return tonight

While the Chicago Blackhawks have had a good start to their season, they’re getting some good news tonight heading into their contest against the New York Rangers. Defenseman Brian Campbell, who sprained his knee during training camp, will make his first start of the season and as you might expect, he’s fired up about playing. Chris Kuc gets the quotes from Campbell via Chicago Breaking Sports.

“I’m excited,” Campbell said after the Hawks’ morning skate. “It’s been pretty boring the last month. I’m ready to go and try and help out and get the feel for it again.”

“(My knee) feels pretty good,” Campbell added. “You’re going to have pain for a little while longer. I was comfortable with it and I had a really good skate (Saturday) in Minnesota. After that I felt pretty good. I responded well and I was working hard to get back.”

Campbell gets right back into the swing of things with his defense partner from last season, Niklas Hjalmarsson. Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith remain as the top pair, meanwhile Jassen Cullimore and Jordan Hendry will be the third pair. That leaves Nick Boynton out of the lineup as a healthy scratch.

Getting Campbell back gives Chicago an offensive threat on the blue line and someone to help their power play unit out as well. Expect the Blackhawks to ride that top four set of defensemen as long as they’re all healthy. They’re the absolute best that Chicago rolls out there and while the third pairing is good for getting a break on occasion, you can’t bank on them to do any real heavy lifting out there. For Chicago, they’ll be happy to do that.

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.