The busiest man at the 2012 NHL Draft? Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero.
After orchestrating the Jordan Staal trade and making two first-round selections in Derrick Pouliot and Olli Maatta, Shero went back to the trading game by flipping defensman Zbynek Michalek to Phoenix in exchange for prospect Harrison Ruopp plus a 3rd-round pick this year (81st) and goalie Marc Cheverie.
(Oh yeah, Shero’s also angling for Zach Parise.)
The move represents a homecoming for Michalek, who spent four years in Phoenix following the lockout. The 29-year-old is in the midst of a deal that pays $4 million annually and expires in 2015.
Of note, Michalek had an eight-team no-trade list.
For Phoenix, the move could be seen as a precursor to dealing Keith Yandle, one of the hotter rumors leading up to Friday’s draft. Several team have expressed interest in the 25-year-old All Star defenseman, who has a deal that runs through 2015-16 with a $5.25 million cap hit (the Coyotes inked him last July.)
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.
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.