If there’s one team that’s likely to get what it wants out of this week’s NHL Board of Governors meetings in Pebble Beach, it’s Detroit. The Red Wings have been patient and discreet in their push to be moved to the Eastern Conference, two traits that commissioner Gary Bettman has rewarded in the past. Perhaps if Jim Balsillie had chosen a similar strategy in his pursuit of a franchise…but that’s another story.
Detroit is hoping to get two things with a move to the east. First is more of its fans being able to watch road games on TV without staying up past midnight and hating themselves in the morning. Second is a reduction in travel.
“It’s very, very simple from the Red Wings’ standpoint,” senior VP Jimmy Devellano said, as per the Windsor Star. “What we would like to avoid is going far west twice (during the regular season). We understand we need to go there once. To go twice is terrible for TV ratings, extra travel expenses that many teams don’t share in. That’s really our only concern.”
Travel has also been a factor for the Wings during the postseason.
“That’s when you feel it the most — in the playoffs,” Henrik Zetterberg told the Detroit News. “If we cut some of the travel, that would be good.”
In the major realignment proposal that’s being presented to the BOG Monday, Detroit is placed in a conference (there are four conferences, not divisions) with Columbus (which wants the same two things as the Wings), Chicago, St. Louis, Minnesota, Winnipeg, Dallas and Nashville. The top four teams in each conference would make the playoffs, with the first two rounds being played within the conference. So the farthest the Wings would have to travel in the first two rounds is to Dallas, whereas they’ve had to go to Phoenix and San Jose in each of the last two years.
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.