Pittsburgh Penguins v Chicago Blackhawks

Video: Mike Milbury and Pierre McGuire discuss top Hart Trophy candidates

(Want to share your own picks for the Hart Trophy? Click here to have your say.)

Mike Milbury and Pierre McGuire shared three skaters and three goalies who might be most deserving of a Hart Trophy nod this year. Milbury discussed Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, NHL scoring leader/Vancouver Canucks winger Daniel Sedin and future Hall of Fame Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom. McGuire pointed to three crucial netminders who deserve more than Vezina consideration: Montreal Canadiens workhorse Carey Price, unorthodox Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas and Pekka Rinne (the Nashville Predators’ sorely underrated stopper).

It’s tough to argue with that list, even though McGuire correctly brings up the name Steven Stamkos. Losing Sidney Crosby for half of the season was a tough thing for the league, but this video shows that there’s plenty of firepower remaining among the league’s elite ranks.

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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.