David Perron

After a year on the shelf, David Perron’s cleared for contact

Andy Strickland of The Fan 590 St. Louis reports that Blues forward David Perron is cleared for contact and now considered a regular practice player. That’s huge, exciting news for both the organization and Perron himself, who has been out of action since last November after suffering a concussion on this hit from San Jose’s Joe Thornton:

Perron’s road to recovery has been a long and arduous one. It took two full days following the Thornton hit for Perron’s concussion symptoms to set in — he began feeling dizzy, suffered headaches and couldn’t watch television or drive his car. (And remember, he actually returned to the San Jose game and scored a goal 10 minutes after getting hit.)

The concussion cost Perron 72 games last season and 18 this year, which is a massive amount of time lost for a 23-year-old about to hit restricted free agency (Perron’s in the final year of a deal with a $2.15 million cap hit.)

While there’s still no timetable for Perron’s return to game action, the ability to receive contact has to be an exciting development for the Blues. St. Louis is 4-0-1 under new head coach Ken Hitchcock and given its strength down the middle (David Backes, Patrik Berglund, Jason Arnott), there’s no shortage of places to play Perron, who can play both wings.

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.