Seeing who gets the call to get a chance to make a team via tryout is one of the rites of the fall when it comes to the NHL. Sometimes you’ll see an old goalie get the nod, other times it’s a guy trying comeback from injury. For the New York Islanders, they’re giving a former New Jersey Devil a shot to make a comeback in the league this time around.
Former Devils defensive forward specialist Jay Pandolfo is getting an invitation to Islanders camp where he’ll get a tryout and try to join up with former Devils teammate Brian Rolston. Pandolfo spent 13 seasons with the Devils but did not play in the NHL last year, playing in just 12 games with the Springfield Falcons of the AHL. Pandolfo and Rolston were teammates for five seasons in New Jersey. Rolston was more of the offensive player while Pandolfo was the guy on the third line being sent out to help shut down opponents top scorers.
If Pandolfo can recapture some of the play that helped him be one of the toughest defensive forwards in the NHL he can help the Islanders get a bit better defensively up front. As it is, Frans Nielsen is their lone standout defensive forward and he could use the help on his wing to give the Isles at least most of a line capable of battling the opponents top lines.
Realistically, however, Pandolfo is 36 years-old going on 37 and has more than likely lost a step in his play. If he can compete for a job and teach the Isles young forwards a thing or two about how to match up against opposing talent, then it’s an invitation to camp that will pay off in the end.
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.