Day two of Brendan Shanahan’s 2011 North American Tour (Shana-Aid? Shanapalooza?) saw the NHL’s discipline czar stay in Nashville to speak with the visiting Detroit Red Wings, writes Ansar Khan of MLive.com.
So, what was the meeting all about?
“Just going over what he’s seen so far in the first quarter of the season, showed some of the illegal hits and some of the legal hits,” said Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom. “Just letting us know what [the NHL] is looking at when there’s a questionable hit. It helps the players having a chance to see how [the league] is looking at things and what we can do to prevent some of those hits.”
The meeting also allowed Shanahan to get reacquainted with some familiar faces. He spent nine years with Detroit before leaving in 2005-06, but many of his former mates are still with the team: Lidstrom, Tomas Holmstrom, Johan Franzen, Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Dan Cleary, Niklas Kronwall, Valtteri Filppula and Jimmy Howard. So yeah, like half the roster.
Not that this “familiarity” would have any bearing on Shanahan’s role as the league’s chief disciplinarian. He’s got strong ties to other organizations as well — St. Louis, New Jersey, New York (Rangers) — and it’s not like the Wings give him tons of material to work with anyway. Detroit is almost always one of the NHL’s least-penalized teams and hasn’t employed a dedicated fighter since Brad May in 2009-10.
In fact, the suspension handed down to Brendan Smith in the preseason — for an illegal check to the head of Chicago’s Ben Smith — was the first fine or suspension given to a Wings player in four seasons.
[Note: Detroit’s clean record may go back even further than that, but suspension records prior to 2007 are kind of spotty.]
You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.
We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.
“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.
These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.
Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.
It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.
With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.
It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:
It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).
As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.
Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:
This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.
Update: Bullet dodged?