One of the features of Hockey Day In America this year will take a look at what sorts of things feature hockey elsewhere across the country. One of the places where hockey is arguably the biggest part of life is Minnesota. In the land of 10,000 lakes they declare that they’re the “State of Hockey” and take great pride in what they do. From the Minnesota Wild to the annual high school hockey championships that sell out Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul each year, hockey is life.
One thing that occurs each year that really brings the game home to its roots in Minnesota is the annual U.S. Pond Hockey Championships at Lake Nokomis that takes place each January. Here, teams of friends gather together each year to try and win the coveted Golden Shovel at one of the most serene and picturesque settings in the wilderness that one could dream up. Men, women, children of all ages and skill levels all come out each year to celebrate the game in one of the most enjoyable ways possible.
Pond hockey is just a way of life for hockey lovers in Minnesota and we’ve got a sneak peak at what you’ll see this weekend on NBC as we scope out the roots of the game in the great white north.
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.