The Tampa Bay Lightning have some huge questions to answer this summer, with Steven Stamkos, both of their goalies, Simon Gagne, Teddy Purcell and Sean Bergenheim included among their pending free agents. With those big decisions in mind, GM Steve Yzerman is chipping away at some of the smaller ones.
Yzerman already handed big-minute defenseman Eric Brewer a four-year deal worth about $16 million and now he decided to keep Marc-Andre Bergeron around, giving him a two-year, $2 million contract.
One million per year seems a bit steep for an offensive defenseman with marginal market appeal. The Lightning picked up Bergeron midway through the 2010-11 season after he showed that he recovered from knee surgery, but he didn’t exactly silence his doubters. Whatever the case may be, he did enough to convince Yzerman to keep him around as a power play specialist and depth defenseman.
Lightning fans are probably happier to hear that the team also retained gritty forward Adam Hall with a one-year deal, though. Hall scored 18 points in 82 regular season games in 10-11 but most tellingly saw a big increase in time on ice per game, averaging almost 15 minutes each night after being relegated to the AHL in 2009-10 and only receiving a little more than 11 minutes per game in 08-09.
You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.
We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.
“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.
These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.
Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.
It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.
With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.
It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:
It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).
As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.
Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:
This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.
Update: Bullet dodged?