Mike Commodore’s days in Columbus numbered? Defenseman reportedly asks for trade

Blue Jackets defenseman Mike Commodore has been having a roller coaster season.

In just the 20 games he’s played this year he’s got two goals and four assists and has a -8 plus/minus rating. They’re not thrilling numbers, but for a defensive shutdown guy like Commodore they’re somewhat expected, aside from the curious minus rating. Lately, he’s been a healthy scratch in seven of the last eight games Columbus has played. If you’re thinking a veteran defenseman like him is going to to take that sort of inaction happily, you’d be fooling yourself.

Today, Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch reports that Commodore is unhappy enough with his situation in Columbus that he’s demanded a trade. As you might expect, Commodore isn’t too pleased with how things are going.

“(Arniel) doesn’t want to play me. Obviously, he doesn’t want to play me. After wins, losses … it doesn’t matter. Obviously, I’m the seventh guy in his mind. So, I’m going to take care of myself, be a good teammate, work hard, practice hard and keep myself ready for whatever comes in the future.”

Jackets coach Scott Arniel has a different view on things and says that he doesn’t care about how much money a guy makes and that for now Commodore is the team’s seventh defenseman. On some teams that could be a factor of having great depth. In Columbus, it’s not quite like that as younger guys like Anton Stralman, Marc Methot, and Kris Russell are getting the playing time over him.

Commodore’s -8 rating, by the way, is tied with Kristian Huselius for second-worst on the team. Derek Dorsett’s -10 is still worse.

The one major hangup in trying to deal Commodore will be his salary. He’s got two years left on his deal after this one and his cap hit is a robust $3.75 million. Asking for another team to take him on with that sort of financial commitment is asking a lot, or it’s asking to take on another team’s high-priced problem elsewhere on the ice.

A change of scenery for Commodore could be the elixir he needs to get his game turned around, and there’s some teams with situations where he’d be helpful to what they have going on but whether or not they’d pull the trigger on a deal is debatable. In the cap world, finances mean almost as much as getting the right fit for your team.

Lucic: If I wanted to hurt Couture, ‘I would have hurt him’


Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.

Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.

This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.

“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”

While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”

And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.

Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.

In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.

Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks

Torres apologizes to Silfverberg and Sharks


A statement from Raffi Torres:

“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”

A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:

“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”

Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.