Devin Setoguchi, Mikko Koivu

Professional beer league hockey? Welcome to Minnesota


With players locked out of team training facilities, finding ice time to work out is proving tricky. In Minnesota, they’ve got almost too many players that want in on the action.

Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune reports there are so many players working out together at St. Louis Park Center in Minnesota, they’re about to do their own version of beer league hockey.

[Today], refs will be hired so there are more structured scrimmages. Brodziak did say there are almost too many guys, it’s hard to get reps and that the Wild guys may eventually go on their own and rent their own ice.

Russo listed off 36 players getting together there by his count, 21 of which are members of the Wild including Niklas Backstrom, Mikko Koivu, and Zach Parise.

Meanwhile, guys like Dustin Byfuglien, Keith Ballard, Kyle Okposo, and Paul Martin are among the other pros there. Wonder if Ballard gets scratched from pick-up games too?

In their video to the fans the players talked about growing up playing hockey on ponds. Teaming up together to pay for ice time at a local rink has some of that throwback flavor, too.

Now the real question: Who picks up the beer?

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

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.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

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’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.