Jack Johnson Columbus

Johnson on getting traded to Columbus: “People were telling my parents, ‘Oh, I’m sorry'”


Jack Johnson wants people to know he’s happy in Columbus — especially the people that offered condolences to his mom and dad upon learning of the trade.

“People were telling my parents, ‘Oh, I’m sorry,’” Johnson told the Columbus Dispatch. “Why? I’m happy. It’s been great. The opportunity is a better one for me here. It’s been an easy transition, and that’s pretty much a credit to the guys in the room.

“I’ve only been here two weeks, but it feels like I’ve been here the entire year.”

Those condoling Mr. and Mrs. Johnson probably thought Jack felt like Jeff Carter — a guy that never wanted to go to Columbus in the first place and seemed happy to leave.

But that’s not the case at all.

Johnson, 25, sees the move as a positive one. He’s got a shot at being a No. 1 defenseman — which wasn’t going to happen playing with Drew Doughty — and is back in his familiar Midwestern surroundings (Johnson’s an Indiana native and University of Michigan alum.)

He also didn’t sound that upset about having to leave the Kings. He told the Dispatch he hasn’t been in contact with any of his former teammates and drew a thick line in the sand when it came to tonight’s game.

“We’re no longer teammates,” Johnson said. “They’re the enemy.”

You have to wonder if Johnson’s enthusiasm about joining arguably the NHL’s most dysfunctional franchise stems from his acrimonious relationship with Kings GM Dean Lombardi. Things soured when Lombardi said Johnson was “awful as a hockey player” while at Michigan; Johnson’s exit conversation with Lombardi didn’t sound cordial either:

“It was a very short, sweet conversation. It was, ‘We dealt you Columbus. Thanks. Bye.’

“Pretty short and sweet. There was really nothing that needed to be said.”

This, of course, happened less than a year after Lombardi gave Johnson a seven-year, $30.5 million extension, which suggested Johnson was going to be in L.A. for a very long time.

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 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.