Viktor Stalberg

Stalberg on NHL realignment: “It seemed kind of weird”

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The theories are flying around like, um… flies…in the wake of the NHLPA’s unwillingness to consent to the NHL’s radical realignment plan.

It was the union flexing its muscles prior to the upcoming CBA negotiations.

No, it was the league forcing the union to reject a proposal that the majority of fans liked, therefore making the union looking like the bad guy prior to the upcoming CBA negotiations.

No, it had nothing to do with the CBA. It’s about two issues – travel and playoff fairness in a realigned NHL – that weren’t adequately addressed by the league for the players.

The fans aren’t the only confused ones. The players are scratching their heads, too.

Blackhawks forward Viktor Stalberg wasn’t sure what to make of realignment from the day it was announced.

“It seemed kind of weird,” Stalberg told “It’s exciting to have a home and home with every team; the fans would appreciate that. But we wanted more info and they didn’t seem to want to provide it for us. Hopefully we can get back to discussing it and figure out something that works for both sides.”

Regardless of why this whole mess came about, realignment is an issue that will be tied to the CBA going forward. You can’t separate them now. Not after all that’s been said and written.

Although it’s half-tempting to wonder if there isn’t a very simple explanation for why the NHL failed to provide the NHLPA with the scheduling information it needed to make a decision.

Be funny if this whole thing came about because some lackey in the league’s schedule-making department was getting his wisdom teeth out last week or something.

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

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’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.