Earlier today, Steve Staios was rewarded for a strong training camp with the Islanders on a tryout and given a one-year contract with the team. In Los Angeles, former Islanders forward Trent Hunter has done just the same inking a one-year contract with the Kings and locking down a spot in starting lineup. ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun reports the deal is worth $600,000.
Hunter spent eight seasons with the Islanders before being traded to the Devils this summer in the trade that sent Brian Rolston to Long Island. The Devils then bought Hunter out of his contract making him a free agent and after not getting any offers, he had to prove himself on a tryout with the Kings. Mission accomplished as Hunter had a great camp and beat out other hopefuls like Scott Parse for a job. Proper motivation can be a powerful thing and for Hunter the motivation to earn a contract got him to win a job.
Hunter will join another veteran in Ethan Moreau as older guys with experience to give L.A. the depth they need to be a major contender in the Western Conference. Instead of filling out ranks with guys from their AHL team that may not have been ready, guys like Moreau and Hunter give them NHL-experienced players to get the job done. The time is now to win in L.A. and having those kinds of players on the team help push that issue.
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.