Islanders sign Matt Moulson to three-year contract extension worth $9.4 million

With the Islanders struggling but winger Matt Moulson continuing to flourish alongside franchise center John Tavares, speculation began picking up about the Islanders possibly trading the impending unrestricted free agent at the trade deadline. All of that talk can be put away for now as the Islanders have signed Moulson to a three-year extension worth $9.4 million.

Moulson was a 30-goal scorer last season and he’s got 17 goals so far this season with the Isles. Since joining New York after being let go by the L.A. Kings, Moulson’s flourished with the ice time he’s gotten in New York. The Cornell University graduate has honed his skills and become John Tavares’ most consistent linemate.

For Moulson, ending the speculation that was just starting to ramp up about whether or not he’d be a factor come trade deadline day on February 28 is huge for him. After establishing himself with the Islanders it seemed clear that he was happy making his home there and he wants to help the Islanders make their way out of the basement. As daunting as that seems, the Isles are happy to have a player there that wants to be there and do what he can to help the situation. That’s virtually priceless all things considered.

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.