Sidney Crosby

Columnist: Some Penguins think Crosby should be playing


Pittsburgh Tribune-Review columnist Dejan Kovacevic caught the attention of many with his latest piece, “Crosby deserves better“. In it, Kovacevic discusses developments around Camp Crosby and the Penguins — how badly Crosby wants to play, his issues with balance, rumblings of him wanting to leave Pittsburgh — but one note stood out above the rest.

From the Tribune-Review:

A few, certainly not all, of Crosby’s teammates are of the mind that he’s been symptom-free for a while, though they have no medical basis for that. Some think he should be playing. Some simply think he should be doing more to communicate, or at least be as visible as concussed defenseman Kris Letang.

Last week in Pittsburgh, according to three sources, a group of players held a 45-minute meeting to discuss a temporary captaincy.

The Penguins are mired in a six-game losing streak in which the offense has completely disappeared. They’ve scored just six times during the streak and were shut out in Washington on Wednesday, so an increase in frustration is understandable. But there’s a big leap from being pissed off to questioning the severity of a teammate’s injury and if Kovacevic’s piece is accurate, a few Penguins have already made the jump.

“Moaning about who’s wearing the ‘C’?,” Kovacevic writes. “There are plenty enough viable leaders in that room right now who should be holding themselves accountable for this losing streak.”

Granted, the optics around this situation haven’t been great. There’s been a sideshow element around the entire Crosby concussion saga — the hordes of reporters, the “Sid is a Ferrari” presser, the endless speculation — so it’s not entirely surprising some Penguins are tired of it. It’s been over a year since Crosby was first diagnosed with a concussion.

That said, it should take a lore more than a six-game losing streak (which came on the heels of a four-game winning streak) for the daggers to come out, no? And if they really are out, some serious questions have to be asked of the Pens dressing room.

Video: NHL drops hammer, suspends Torres for 41 games


One of the NHL’s most notorious hitters has been tagged by the league.

On Monday, the Department of Player Safety announced that San Jose forward Raffi Torres has been suspended 41 games — half of the regular season — for an illegal check to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The length of Torres’ suspension is a combination of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ history of delivering hits to the heads of opposing players, including Jordan Eberle, Jarret Stoll, Nate Prosser and Marian Hossa.

“Torres has repeatedly violated league playing rules,” the Department of Player Safety explained. “And has been sanctioned multiple times for similar infractions.”

The league also noted that Torres has been warned, fined, or suspended on nine occasions over the course of his career, “the majority of which have involved a hit to an opponent’s head.”

“Same player every year,” Ducks forward Ryan Kesler said following the hit on Silfverberg. “I played with the guy [in Vancouver]. He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”

As for what lies ahead, things could get interesting upon potential appeal:

Torres successfully appealed a suspension under the previous CBA, getting his punishment for the Hossa hit reduced from 25 to 21 games.

Under terms of the new CBA, Torres isn’t categorized as a repeat offender because his last suspension came in May of 2013 — more than two years ago.

Of course, part of the reason Torres hasn’t run afoul of the league in two years is because he’s barely played.

Knee injuries limited Torres to just 12 games in ’13-14, and he sat out last season entirely.

Blues send down four; keep young d-men Edmundson and Parayko

Magnus Paajarvi
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The St. Louis Blues have assigned two forwards, Magnus Paajarvi and Ty Rattie, and two defensemen, Chris Butler and Petteri Lindbohm, to AHL Chicago.

The moves mean that the Blues will have two young d-men, Joel Edmundson and Colton Parayko, on the opening-day roster, after both impressed in camp.

From the Post-Dispatch:

Lindbohm and Butler looked to be the sixth and seventh defensemen, in that order, at the start of camp, but the play of Edmundson and Parayko won them spots. Parayko had six assists in the preseason, putting him among the NHL leaders. 

Forward Robby Fabbri will also be on the opening-day roster. The 19-year-old is not eligible for the AHL; he can only be returned to junior.

Earlier today, the Blues announced the signing of forward Scottie Upshall.