NHL is taking their business globally with expanded broadcast agreement

After the NHL secured a broadcast agreement with the Nordic countries, they’re taking their business even wider around the world with yet another deal to bring the game to more people globally.

The NHL will now carry live broadcasts to England/Ireland, Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, Slovakia, Italy, Austria, France and to parts of Africa and the Middle East thanks to a new agreement with nine broadcast outlets from around the world. The NHL has been making waves to get themselves on TV more here in North America (a nice 10-year deal with NBC helped out there) and now getting the game to their fans around Europe and elsewhere in the world helps the league’s reach improve all the more.

It’s nice to know that we could also travel to any of these locations and be able to find a game on TV if we wanted. Sure it might be really early in the morning to have to watch one, but it’s great that hockey is expanding its reach like this and even to places that you wouldn’t suspect there to be many fans (Middle East? Sub-Saharan Africa? French overseas territories?). Good for the NHL for being progressive rather than reactive.

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One
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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.