Rick Nash, Anton Stralman, Jared Boll, Derek MacKenzie, Jan Hejda

Prolific AHL goal scorer will get his chance with Columbus

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Alexandre Giroux has found a niche for himself as one of the AHL’s greatest scorers. He’s had to, because despite the fact that he scored 60 goals in 69 AHL games in 2008-09, he hasn’t been able to hold down a job in the NHL. Giroux is 30 now and he’s only played in 39 NHL games and, for the most part, he hasn’t gotten much ice time during his brief stints with the New York Rangers, Washington Capitals, and Edmonton Oilers.

That might change on Saturday as the struggling Columbus Blue Jackets have called up Giroux with the intention of using him on their second line against the Dallas Stars. Along with Antoine Vermette and R.J. Umberger, the trio will try to provide the Blue Jackets with some secondary scoring behind the very effective Vinny Prospal, Jeff Carter, and Rick Nash line.

Blue Jackets coach Scott Arniel certainly sounded like a man who believes in Giroux when he talked to the Columbus Dispatch:

Having that size on the wing is going to probably help us. It’s going to help us around the net. Alex doesn’t need many chances to score goals. He’s proven that.

At the AHL level, yes, but he still needs to prove that he can find ways to score against NHL caliber defenses and goaltenders.  Still, the Blue Jackets need to shake things up a little after getting off to a 0-3-1 start and maybe Giroux will take advantage of what could be his last good chance to stay in the NHL.

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

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.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

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.