Vancouver Canucks v Phoenix Coyotes

Gary Bettman claims there’s a third group interested in Coyotes


The Phoenix Coyotes’ ownership situation has morphed into a humorless version of “Groundhog Day.” If you’re anything like me, you glance at each development with one of Bill Murray’s patented beaten-down facial expressions.

At least this latest bit of news is positive as Gary Bettman claims that there’s a third group interested in possibly purchasing the Coyotes, according to the Associated Press. The non-shadowy groups include one featuring former San Jose Sharks executive Greg Jamison and one headed by often-mentioned Chicago power broker Jerry Reinsdorf.

Unfortunately, amid that vague optimism, there was this disconcerting bit:

“We’re going to try to avoid a move of the Coyotes, but if we don’t sell the club, I’m not sure that this won’t be the last season here,” Bettman said.

Usually when things really start to pick up in these situations, you begin hearing about the good kind of deadlines. (Example: “Interested teams need to submit their bids by Date X.”) Instead, this situation doesn’t include much talk beyond Bettman’s worries that the team might have to relocate if something doesn’t get done this season.

It feels like we’ve been through this drill before, but Bettman going on the record with his doubts makes it seem like a real answer will surface soon enough.

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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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.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

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?