Michael Komisarek; Milan Lucic;

Lucic: “I guess I must be Grade A prime beef”


Milan Lucic was remarkably diplomatic days after Red Wings executive Jimmy Devellano compared NHL players to “cattle” while at the same time suggesting Lucic should be “grateful” for signing a three-year, $18 million contract with the Boston Bruins.

“I guess I must be Grade A prime beef. I think we’re pretty good cattle if you’re looking at it that way,” Lucic told CSSNE.com Monday morning.

“You definitely as a person don’t like to be called ‘cattle.’ You’d think people would treat you better than as just an animal. Obviously he’s got his name on the Cup a lot of times. I’m not going to say anything to disrespect him. But he said what he said and I kind of laughed at it. It is what it is.

“He singled me out and I don’t know where or why he even singled me out. For me from an athlete’s perspective you look at him and what he’s done in his hockey career, and respect what he’s done for the game.”

Devellano’s comments have proven to be a PR nightmare for the NHL, which was already trailing the NHLPA badly in the fight for public support.

While it’s hard to disagree with Devellano’s assertion that the “players want for nothing…it’s first class this, first class that, meal allowances, travel money on the road, the whole shebang,” the rancher-cattle analogy only succeeded in putting the players squarely in the downtrodden category.

And we’re talking about players that are treated so well that it’s a story when they’re forced to do their own laundry.

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?