keith aulie

We have a trade to announce: Tampa Bay gets Aulie, Toronto gets Ashton


Earlier this morning, Tampa Bay Lighting GM Steve Yzerman claimed he didn’t expect to make many moves on trade deadline day, saying he’d already pulled some significant deals and was waiting for the draft to acquire “impact players.”

Turns out he wasn’t being entirely truthful.

Yzerman has pulled off his second deal of the day, acquiring defenseman Keith Aulie from Toronto in exchange for Carter Ashton. Aulie, 22, is a towering blueliner — 6-foot-6, 225-pounds — that came to the Leafs from Calgary as part of the Dion Phaneuf deal in 2009. Aulie appeared in 40 games for Toronto last year and 17 this season, spending the majority of his time with AHL’s Toronto Marlies.

According to Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun, Aulie was “in shock” about being dealt. “The one thing that bothers me is that I was hoping to help this team make the playoffs,” he said.

As for the skinny on Ashton:

— 20 years old, son of former NHLer Brent Ashton.

— One of Tampa’s two first-round picks in 2009 (29th overall; Victor Hedman went No. 2)

— The last first-round pick of the Brian Lawton regime. The following year, Steve Yzerman took Tampa’s GM job.

— Has been with AHL Norfolk this season and performed well (19G-16A-35PTS in 56 games).

— At 6-foot-3, 215-pounds, has the size that Leafs GM Brian Burke covets.

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?