Ed Snider has watched some tough teams in his days as owner of the Philadelphia Flyers, but yesterday in Chicago at the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, he said the NHL is more dangerous than it’s ever been.
“I think a lot of it is due to the equipment today,” said Snider, as per CSNPhilly.com’s Tim Panaccio. “In the old days, you had soft shoulder pads and didn’t have a whole lot of equipment or helmets. I think players respected each other more. They grow up now in junior with these masks and so forth and hit up high. It’s a different game. Obviously, it’s a very serious problem.”
John Davidson, the St. Louis Blues’ president of hockey operations, said almost the exact same thing: “The equipment is so hard and the players don’t respect each other as much as before.”
Given the influence Snider has on league matters, it’ll be interesting to see if equipment is addressed in the near future. The fact two of his best players, Claude Giroux and Chris Pronger, are currently out with concussions (though neither are equipment related) might serve to speed up the process.
Don Cherry has been talking about the equipment issue for ages (video). And while the NHL bans elbow pads “which do not have a soft protective outer covering of sponge rubber,” perhaps something more needs to be done.
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.