Now that we’re all settled on realignment now it’s time to get down to the serious stuff:
What the heck do we name these new conferences?
The old fashioned 1980s traditionalist in all of us wants to see a throwback to the way things used to be before the NHL got all corporate and NBA-ified. Bringing back the names of the old divisions (Patrick, Adams, Norris, Smythe) has everyone’s nostalgia up and really, why not? It goes back to that whole “embracing your uniqueness” we talked about yesterday.
Naming the conferences after the founders of the league gave the NHL its identity and gave us all a reason to look up just who the heck these guys were that the divisions were named after. It might not be as fun as Paul Bissonnette’s idea for naming the conferences after rappers, but I don’t know that we’re ready for the Biggie Smalls Conference just yet.
NHL.com Red Wings reporter Bill Roose throws some water on our historical hopes saying he’s hearing that the conferences will be named geographically just how they are now going with Atlantic, Northeast, Central, and Pacific Conferences.
Not only would this solution be boring but it’s completely inaccurate for the Northeast Division. Unless both Florida and Tampa Bay are relocating to Quebec City and Hamilton, Ontario there’s little chance for them to be confused with being northeast teams.
If you want to go historical and new school, the suggestion of naming the conferences after Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, Mario Lemieux, and Gordie Howe is out there as well. Only issue there is naming a conference after a current owner (Lemieux) is probably a big no-no. Good luck picking an appropriate fifth person for that honor.
Sadly enough, the boring geographical way to name the conferences is probably viewed as the easiest way to handle things. At the very least they could just name the Northeast Conference the “Snowbird Conference” to honor their two Florida teams.
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.