Gary Bettman

Bettman: We’d be crazy not to do a Winter Classic in Minnesota


Wild fans have been yelling about getting a Winter Classic to the “State of Hockey” for years. After all, in America there’s no more of a place befitting of playing outdoor hockey than Minnesota and its 10,000 lakes (give or take a few myths).

Luckily for fans in Minnesota, Gary Bettman agrees with you.

Bettman told Michael Russo of the Star Tribune that he’d be crazy (his words!) to not get a Winter Classic done in Minnesota in the future. On the upside for Wild fans, they’ve got superstars to show off now in Dany Heatley, Devin Setoguchi and Mikko Koivu. The downside for the Wild is that they haven’t made the playoffs in years and they’re not exactly a marquee draw in the league, two factors that seem to matter most for the Winter Classic.

Of course, if there’s one thing that could help swing attention Minnesota’s way it’s the weather. Sounds crazy, right? After all, Minnesota is arctic cold in winter but after seeing rain play a big role in things in Pittsburgh, if Philadelphia runs into similar issues this season, the NHL could look into a locale where the winter weather won’t come into question in January. Minneapolis-St.Paul would pretty much guarantee that.

For now, the Wild better focus on winning and becoming fun to watch or develop a lot of intrigue if they want to get a Winter Classic sooner than later.

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?