Victor Hedman

Tampa Bay’s Hedman aiming for Tuesday return


Out with a concussion since Dec. 27, Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman is hoping to return to the lineup on Tuesday when the Bolts face the Caps.

“I want to play games,” Hedman told the Tampa Tribune. “Being off the ice is the worst thing. I’m just trying to get back, and whether that is Tuesday or a couple of games after that, I don’t know. But my goal is to play in the next game.”

The 21-year-old rearguard has been participating in full workouts yet, prior to the All-Star break, was still wearing a red non-contact jersey during Lightning practices. There’s still no word on when he’ll receive official clearance for contact but with an extended rest period coming up, both Hedman and the organization are hopeful he’ll get it in time for next week.

“He’s been doing very, very well, and after all the time we’ve been waiting for him, it’s really nice to see him doing well,” head coach Guy Boucher said. “Everything he’s been doing, no setbacks, so that’s good.”

Getting Hedman back would be huge for the Bolts. He’s one of their top two defensemen, a key penalty killer and prior to getting hurt, second among all blueliners in minutes per game. With Tampa on a bit of a roll right now — currently riding a four-game winning streak — having the former second-overall pick back in the lineup could be a huge morale boost.

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.