Sean Avery

Tortorella explains decision to bring Avery back

New York Rangers coach John Tortorella met with the media today to discuss the pending return of Sean Avery. According to Torts, the knee injury to big forward Mike Rupp was the driving factor in the decision to bring the controversial forward back up from the AHL.

“Rupper has a lot to do with this. We’re concerned about that,” Tortorella said, as reported by “This is the right decision. It’s the right hockey decision now and it was the right hockey decision when we sent Sean down. That’s where it’s at.”

When Avery was cut and sent down to the Connecticut Whale following Rangers training camp, the explanation from Tortorella was a blunt one: “I think we have better players than Sean Avery — plain and simple.”

Apparently that’s not the case anymore. With Rupp out indefinitely and Dale Weise (waived) in Vancouver now, Avery is the next best option to play the energy role the lacklustre Rangers need.

“Sean’s biggest strength are his legs. He’s a terrific skater,” Tortorella said. “A big part of his game is his forechecking and his play underneath the hashmarks. We want him to play to his strengths and also work on the other parts of the game away from the puck.”

Tortorella didn’t say it, but there’s probably another thing he wants out of Avery: Not to be a self-absorbed clown.

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

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
Leave a comment

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?