Another day, another questionable shot to the head by an NHL player. This time, its Dane Byers landing a shoulder/elbow to the head of Sharks center Andrew Desjardins only three minutes into the second period of Columbus’ game against San Jose. Desjardins’ teammate Bard Winchester immediately came to his aid by trying to punch Byers in the face and Byers received a match penalty for “intent to injure,” but the stiffer punishment could come from Brendan Shanahan in the coming days.
Unfortunately, Desjardins headed to the locker room and did not return for the final 17 minutes of the first period. For Byers’ part, he was playing in his fifth game this season and the 11th contest of his career. In 11 games though, he’s already been suspended once by the league for an illegal hit in 2009 while a member of the New York Rangers.
That’s right—he’s only played 11 career games and his current five game stretch for the Blue Jackets is his first cup of coffee in the NHL since 2009; yet he’s still a “repeat offender.”
Take a look at the hit and let us know what you think. Do you think Byers deserves a suspension? If so, how long should he be forced to sit? The comment section beckons…
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.