Almost two months ago, we discussed rumors that the Tampa Bay Lightning appeared to be eye-balling offensive defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron. It seems like those reports were founded on sound logic, as ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun passes along word that the team signed him to a one-year deal pending a clean bill of health.
It’s rumored that the deal will be worth $1 million.
I stand by what was written in November: the Lightning are already a pretty strong team on the power play. In fact, they’re currently tied for first in the NHL with 39 power play goals scored (personally, it’s more impressive to produce the highest total of goals on the man advantage than the highest percentage).
Yet while Bergeron is far from a necessity, the team was often relying on Martin St. Louis to work the point. He might still do so, but now they have versatility on the man advantage with Bergeron, St. Louis and somewhat disappointing sophomore blueliner Victor Hedman.
We’ll let you know if anything falls through with this signing, but it sounds like its a mere formality. Could be a solid pickup for the Lightning if it comes to pass.
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.