Barclays Center

Brooklyn arena “could easily support a hockey team,” says owner


Not for the first time, the owner of the brand new Barclays Center expressed his desire for an NHL team, possibly the New York Islanders, to move to Brooklyn and play in his arena.

“(Barclays Center) was made for hockey and basketball,” Bruce Ratner told the Associated Press today. “It could easily support a hockey team.”

For now, it’s only slated to support basketball. The NBA’s Nets will call it home next season.

And whether it was “made for hockey” is debatable. The capacity for basketball is 18,103; for hockey it’s just 14,500, which would make it the smallest in the NHL.

If Ratner had been targeting a hockey tenant before the Barclays Center was built, wouldn’t he have made it more NHL-friendly?

The Islanders, of course, still don’t have a place to play past 2015 when their lease expires at obsolete Nassau Coliseum.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman briefly addressed the Islanders-to-Brooklyn possibility last week.

“Barclays, I suppose on some level, is an option,” he said in a not-so-ringing endorsement, adding that it’s “not anywhere near” to the point where it’s the only option.

Regardless, it’s hard to see the Islanders moving somewhere like Quebec City or Seattle. The NHL really won’t want to leave that market. The Isles still get significantly higher local TV ratings than places like Florida, Phoenix and Columbus. And with a better building, and more importantly a better team, attendance would surely improve.

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One
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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.