Steve Sullivan’s long journey through the NHL will include a stop in the desert.
That’s the word out of Phoenix today as the Coyotes have agreed to a one-year, $1.85 million deal with the veteran forward.
Sullivan, who turns 38 on Friday, spent last season in Pittsburgh, scoring 17G-31A-48 points in 79 games while averaging over 15 minutes per night.
Since breaking into the NHL in 1995-96, Sullivan has spent time with the Devils, Maple Leafs, Blackhawks, Predators and Penguins. The Coyotes will be his sixth club, and he’ll be reunited in Phoenix with former Pittsburgh teammate Zbynek Michalek, acquired by ‘Yotes GM Don Maloney at the NHL Entry Draft.
Known as a solid veteran presence that’s good in the room, Sullivan is just the latest “character” guy to leave the Penguins over the last two seasons, as noted by the Tribune-Review’s Josh Yohe. Sullivan follows in the footsteps of Max Talbot (Philadelphia), Arron Asham and Mike Rupp (New York Rangers).
Of note, Sullivan’s $1.85 million salary is a slight bump from the $1.5 he made in Pittsburgh last season.
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.