Craig Patrick

Columbus extends Patrick, will continue to advise GM Howson

Columbus Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson will face a number of key issues this offseason.

Now, the club has made sure he wouldn’t face them alone.

The Blue Jackets extended the contract of executive/adviser Craig Patrick on Sunday, ensuring he’d be with the club for at least another season. Patrick first joined the club in Dec. 2011.

“I’m absolutely delighted,” Patrick told the Columbus Dispatch. “I came here in December when things weren’t so nice, but we’ve figured out a lot of things. We’ve solved a lot of problems. We still have some things to work out, but we made great progress.”

Keeping Patrick in the fold is an important move for the Jackets, especially if they trade team captain Rick Nash. Patrick played a role in moving another of Columbus’ high-priced talents — Jeff Carter — prior to the NHL trade deadline, getting defenseman Jack Johnson and a first-round pick in return.

“When I’m asked, I express my opinion,” Patrick said. “I’m a big J.J. fan, always have been, so I’m really happy the way it turned out. To get J.J. would be a good deal alone, but to get a No. 1 pick on top of it is really special.”

That said, Patrick isn’t there just to oversee a potential Nash deal. The Blue Jackets also need to sort out their goaltending situation and figure how to best utilize their two first-round picks at the 2012 draft, including the No. 2 pick overall.

Patrick’s work at the draft could be more important than anything, especially given Columbus’ lackluster history of selecting prospects.

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?