NHLPA wants a Canada-Russia series — but will it happen?


Nobody knows when the 2012-13 NHL campaign will start, or if it’ll start at all.

In light of that, the NHLPA is cooking something up that might intrigue hockey fans during the lockout.

According to the Toronto Star, the union wants to hold a multi-game series between the best players that Canada and Russia has to offer. The NHLPA has already reached out to Hockey Canada in the hopes of holding preliminary discussions.

It’s an interesting idea, though the union still needs to answer a number of questions about the event — primarily, which Canadian broadcaster would air the games?

CBC and TSN already have NHL deals while Sportsnet enjoys regional TV agreements with the league. Several senior broadcast officials said that none of them want to do anything to potentially hurt their relationship with the league, according to the Star.

“You think CBC wants to do anything right now to upset the NHL?” one media executive told the Star. “No way. They’re trying desperately to hold onto their contract with the NHL.”

On top of that, Bell and Rogers — the owners of TSN and Sportsnet respectively — are the co-owners of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Aside from the broadcast issue lies the potential for injuries. Players who participate in this tournament might jeopardize their NHL deals should they get hurt. The NHLPA has already warned the players about that possibility should they choose to play in Europe, and a recent post from ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun noted that “if a player is injured while playing in another league during the lockout, an NHL club can suspend him without pay until he is fit to play.”

The NHL players can purchase insurance coverage, but that could cost them something in the ballpark of $35,000 per $1 million in coverage.

So those hoping for a new Summit Series featuring Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin shouldn’t get too excited yet.

The idea is out there, but it’s far from a sure thing.

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?