In news that won’t shock anyone, Gabriel Landeskog is staying with the Colorado Avalanche.
The 18-year-old forward could have been returned to junior after his ninth game in the NHL this season, but after scoring six points over that stretch, the Avs figured he should probably stick around, even though they’ll have to burn a year of his entry-level contract. And as Adrian Dater of the Denver Post points out, Landeskog’s cap hit helps keep the club over the CBA-mandated floor.
Landeskog has some size to him, so competing physically hasn’t been an issue. His plus-2 rating also suggests he hasn’t been a defensive liability. No, I don’t know if the coaching staff has been protecting him when it comes to match-ups, and I don’t really care. I’ll just take Avs defenseman Shane O’Brien’s word that Landeskog is a pretty good player.
“He’s unbelievable,” O’Brien told reporters. “I told one of my buddies he’s going to be the best forward in five years and it might not even take that long.”
Paul Stastny seems to think rather highly of Landeskog, too.
“It’s not just one thing that sticks out that makes him better than everybody else,” said Stastny. “It’s everything. He seems a complete player, whether it’s in the d-zone or the offensive zone, moving the puck, shooting the puck, blocking the puck, being physical… He does it all.”
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.