Dustin Byfuglien, Nik Antropov

Thrashers place underrated defenseman Tobias Enstrom on IR

Dustin Byfuglien gets a lot of the credit for the Atlanta Thrashers’ once-hot run, and rightly so. Still, one player who hasn’t gotten enough credit – both this year and seasons past – is offensive defenseman Tobias Enstrom.

He was going to get a nice chance for some rare recognition after becoming a selection to this year’s All-Star Game, but a broken finger derailed his hopes on January 22nd. NHL.com reports that the team placed him on the injured reserve retroactive to the day of that injury.

Enstrom scored 41 points (eight goals and 33 assists) in 50 games this season, so he will obviously be missed. The defenseman also had the longest streak of games played in Thrashers history before the injury, appearing in 296 games in a row from October 5, 2007 through January 22, 2010 (according to NHL.com).

Perhaps it’s not a mystery that Byfuglien’s numbers (and the Thrashers’ good fortunes) have sagged lately without Enstrom in the fold. We’ll keep you up to date regarding his injury status going forward.

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One
Leave a comment

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.