Mike Cammalleri

Injury-mired Canadiens lose two more players after stomping Jets in Winnipeg

You can add Mike Cammalleri and Jaroslav Spacek to the list of Montreal players dealing with injury problems.

The Canadiens’ 5-1 win over Winnipeg came at a price as Cammalleri was cut just above his knee thanks to an arrant Yannick Weber skate blade. Losing Cammalleri for periods of time is something Montreal’s dealt with since he’s joined the team, but seeing it happen so soon is a kick in the teeth.

The Habs also lost defenseman Jaroslav Spacek to a rib injury after taking a big hit from Evander Kane along the boards. Spacek left the game after the hit and did not return. Canadiens staff reported after the game that they don’t feel either injury is serious. Mike Johnson of NHL Network reported that Cammalleri could miss just two weeks of action. We’ll see if that’s the case.

Montreal’s defense has taken a beating already this season as Andrei Markov is slow in recovering from offseason knee surgery and his replacement Chris Campoli is out for an extended time with a leg injury. New guys Raphael Diaz and Alexei Yemelin have been forced into action in their stead.

The Habs won’t get to pick on the Jets every night so they’ll have to hope Diaz, Yemelin, and Weber can help take care of business until the others are back healthy. There’s nothing less encouraging than having injury problems right off the bat in a new season.

Report: Torres won’t appeal 41-game suspension

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Sounds like Raffi Torres is accepting his punishment.

Per Sportsnet, Torres won’t appeal his 41-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The report comes just days after the NHL’s Department of Player Safety levied one of the longest disciplinary rulings in league history, citing both the severity of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ lengthy history of suspensions, fines and warnings.

There was some thought, however, that Torres would try to challenge the ruling.


He does have a history of success in that department. In 2012,Torres successfully appealed his suspension for a headshot on Chicago’s Marian Hossa, and had his punishment reduced from 25 games to 21.

Torres also isn’t considered a “repeat offender” under the current collective bargaining agreement, as his last suspension came in 2013.

Of course, part of that clean record is due to the fact he hasn’t played much. Torres has largely been sidelined by injury for the last two seasons, missing all of last year with knee problems.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman delved further into the repeat offender thing in his latest 30 Thoughts column:

If you read the relevant sections of the CBA, the league takes the position that the repeat offender status is only applicable to fines. Repeaters are fined on a per-game basis, non-repeaters on a per-day basis. (The former is more expensive, because there are fewer games than days in an NHL season.) However, if you go to Section 18.2, among the factors taken into account are, “the status of the offender and, specifically, whether the Player has a history of being subject to Supplementary Discipline for On-Ice Conduct.”

So, in the NHL’s view, a player’s history is relevant, even if longer than 18 months ago.

Should the report prove accurate and Torres doesn’t appeal, he will be eligible to return to action on Jan. 14, when the Sharks take on the Oilers.

Report: Kings, Richards nearing settlement

Mike Richards
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The Los Angeles Kings and Mike Richards may be nearing a settlement in their dispute over Richards’ terminated contract, TSN’s Bob McKenzie is reporting.

You can read the report for all the details, but we’re sure curious about this part:

If a settlement is reached, there’s no word yet on what salary cap penalties the Kings would still face. There’s bound to be something, but not likely as onerous as the full value of Richards’ contract, which carries with it a cap hit of $5.75 million. If there’s a settlement, Richards would undoubtedly become a free agent though there’s no telling at this point what monies he would be entitled to from the Kings in a settlement.

The issue here is precedent, and what this case could set. The NHL and NHLPA can’t allow teams to escape onerous contracts through a back door, and many are adamant that that’s what the Kings were attempting to do in Richards’ case.