Jaromir Jagr

Jaromir Jagr skates with new teammates, discusses spurned Pens fans


Amid the angry reactions regarding Jaromir Jagr’s supposed betrayal of Pittsburgh Penguins fans by signing with Philly, many ignored the fact that he was often booed mercilessly during returns to the Igloo. Surely those same fans must have felt their blood boiling today, as Jagr put on that orange, black and white jersey for the first time.

Jagr is just one of several players who will wear a Flyers uniform for the first time in regular season games next season – especially if youngsters Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier make the squad. The Philadelphia Flyers stand among the NHL’s most radically altered teams, so it’s probably important to note that head coach Peter Laviolette will experiment with line combinations during training camp.

That being said, some might have been surprised to see Jagr skating with what would be the top line to start things out. Here’s what the first day forward lines looked like, via CSNPhilly.com’s Tim Panaccio.

James van Riemsdyk -Claude Giroux-Jaromir Jagr
Scott Hartnell-Danny Briere-Jakub Voracek (staff had been thinking Jagr there)
Max Talbot-Michael Nylander-Wayne Simmonds
Jody Shelley-Blair Betts-Andreas Nodl
Brayden Schenn by himself

NHL coaches are known for tweaking their lines and Laviolette is no exception. With that in mind, Jagr could bounce around the Flyers’ lineup but before and during the season, especially since it is conceivable that he could work alongside Giroux, Briere or even former Rangers running mate Nylander. Still, Giroux wasn’t shy about expressing his excitement about skating alongside Jagr, a player he once looked up to.

“When I was a kid, I looked up to (Jagr) because he was obviously one of the best young players to ever play,” Giroux said. “So, anytime you have a guy like that on your line, it’s pretty exciting. He’s that kind of player who knows how to score goals and is always in good position to get open. He’s been in the league for a long time, so anytime you have a player like that on your line it’s good. I’ll be playing with JVR too, so I was playing with two strong guys.”

Regardless of his linemates, Jagr will likely be booed heartily in Pittsburgh when he makes his first-ever appearance at Consol Energy Center on December 29 (health permitting). Jagr addressed the many angry Penguins fans who were let down when Jagr ended his flirtation with a return to Pittsburgh by signing with the team’s cross-state and divisional rivals.

Finally, here is footage of Jagr putting on that Flyers jersey for the first time.

Lucic: If I wanted to hurt Couture, ‘I would have hurt him’


Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.

Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.

This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.

“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”

While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”

And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.

Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.

In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.

Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks

Torres apologizes to Silfverberg and Sharks


A statement from Raffi Torres:

“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”

A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:

“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”

Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.