Quick hits: Senators look for forward help, Ponikarovsky skates, Hemsky could miss a month

Here are a few tidbits from around the NHL, from trade scuttlebutt to injury updates.

Kovalev is one of the NHL’s most temperamental talents. He seems just as likely to float through a game unnoticed as he is to take over matters with a brilliant power-play goal. He found a solid place in Montreal, though, so you never know.

Habs Inside/Out also brings up the name of Dustin Penner, but there might be a reason why that won’t work out.

(Immature aside: I couldn’t help but giggle when I read Oilers coach Tom Renney’s quote on the subject: ““Groins are temperamental in terms of healing.” I’ll keep any further commentary to myself.)

  • In the good news/bad news category of injuries, Alexei Ponikarovsky participated in his first full practice today and is reportedly on track to return to the Los Angeles Kings’ lineup on Thursday. The good news is that the Kings will bolster their thin forward corps. The bad news is that they’re doing so by bringing back Ponikarovsky, who has been ineffectual when he’s been able to play (two goals and two assists for four points in 13 games played).

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 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.