Washington Capitals hand John Erskine a two-year, $3M contract extension

What one quality do you associate with the Washington Capitals?

Different people will provide a variety of answers, especially if they are fans of the Capitals (or some of their rivals). Yet when you basically average out most of the gut reactions, my guess is that the most common response would be some variation on “offensive minded.” (Or maybe some take on “finesse.”)

(Even Bruce Boudreau wondered if they were a bunch of “prima donnas” during his profanity-laced tirade during HBO’s 24/7.)

Yet an overall style (perceived or exaggerated) doesn’t necessarily mean that every player on the team fits that profile. The Capitals employ their fair share of tougher, two-way players and one guy who brings a traditionally rugged mindset to the ice is John Erskine. The team rewarded his hard-nosed play today, signing him to a two-year contract extension.

The deal will reportedly pay him an average of $1.5 million per season and $3 million overall.

As I mentioned, Erskine’s value normally doesn’t show up on the box score. It looks like he might top his career high of nine points this season, as he already has seven points (three goals and four assists) in 31 games played.

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?