Phil Kessel; Craig Anderson

Former Senators owner: “I think this market is not yet like Toronto, and please, God, it won’t get like that”


The Ottawa Senators surpassed expectations in 2011-12 by making the playoffs. It’s entirely possible that they’ll regress a bit next season – especially if Daniel Alfredsson retires – but overall, the future seems bright for them.

Which is vital for the survival of the team, because former Senators owner Rod Bryden doesn’t think that the Ottawa fanbase will pay to see the team if there’s a lack of both on-ice talent and front office vision.

“I think this market is not yet like Toronto, and please, God, it won’t get like that,” said Bryden. “But I don’t think the fans will come notwithstanding a team that doesn’t know what it’s doing.

“I think a persistently bad team would have lots of trouble here.”

Bryden is bashing Toronto over the belief that the fans of Ottawa’s bitter rivals will pay to see the team play regardless of the product on the ice. He sees it as a positive that, in his mind, Senators fans won’t do the same.

At the same time, he did praise Senators fans for sticking with their team during the rebuilding process.

“They were pretty supportive of the need to make some changes and possibly miss the playoffs,” said Bryden. “If that were to go on for a few years though, I think you’d see a fairly quick erosion of attendance.”

The Maple Leafs, along with the Senators, are engaged in a rebuilding process, but so far Toronto hasn’t been able to reach the postseason. Still, depending on how their summers go, there’s a legitimate chance that both clubs will end up making the playoffs in 2012-13.

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?