Howard Osgood

Lockout puts crimp in Howard-Osgood bromance

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Several things have been lost during the lockout thus far — jobs, games and optimism, to name a few.

But how about friendship?

That’s the case in Detroit, where Wings goalie Jimmy Howard is lamenting the loss of his good buddy Chris Osgood.

Here’s more, from the Free Press:

Since he entered the NHL, Jimmy Howard has come to rely on Chris Osgood — as a mentor, a booster, and most of all, a friend.

The lockout that’s now in its 11th day dividing team personnel from players has left Howard unable to have contact with Osgood, who retired from the Wings a year ago and transitioned to goaltending development coach.

“It’s weird,” Howard said, laughing, of their new relationship. As for play dates between his young son, James Russell IV, and Osgood’s young son Max, “only our wives can get together.”

The two have known each other since the end of the last lockout. In 2005-06, a 21-year-old Howard made his debut for the Wings while Osgood battled it out with Manny Legace for the No. 1 gig.

Since then, other Detroit netminders have come and gone — Dominik Hasek, Joey MacDonald, Ty Conklin — but Howard and Osgood (Howgood? Osward?) have remained constants.

As such, Howard has a cache of drills and practice routines learned from Osgood and Detroit goalie coach Jim Bedard. That’s how he’s keeping sharp. He’s also fortunate to have the assistance of a potential new BFF — Todd Bertuzzi.

“I know what I have to do, and I’ve worked with Jimmy for long enough that I know a lot of his drills,” Howard said. “And Bert always participates in them before practice, so we’ll be able to get things going here once we get used to skating out here by ourselves.”

Sens demote former first-rounder Puempel

Matt Puempel
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Looks like Matt Puempel won’t be making the leap after all.

Puempel, the subject of Ottawa’s “looking to make the leap” profile during our Team of the Day series, has been sent down to AHL Binghamton one day prior to the Sens’ opener against Buffalo.

Puempel, taken by Ottawa in the first round (24th overall) at the ’11 draft, made his big-league debut last season and looked as though he’d stick around — only to suffer a high ankle sprain after 13 games, and miss the rest of the season.

The 22-year-old came into this year’s camp looking to secure a full-time position at the big league level, but was beaten out by Shane Prince for the final forward spot on the roster.

To be fair, contract status probably played a role. Prince would’ve had to clear waivers to get down to Bingo, whereas Puempel didn’t.

A former 30-goal scorer in the American League, Puempel is expected to get another look with Ottawa this season.

Report: Torres won’t appeal 41-game suspension


Sounds like Raffi Torres is accepting his punishment.

Per Sportsnet, Torres won’t appeal his 41-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The report comes just days after the NHL’s Department of Player Safety levied one of the longest disciplinary rulings in league history, citing both the severity of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ lengthy history of suspensions, fines and warnings.

There was some thought, however, that Torres would try to challenge the ruling.


He does have a history of success in that department. In 2012,Torres successfully appealed his suspension for a headshot on Chicago’s Marian Hossa, and had his punishment reduced from 25 games to 21.

Torres also isn’t considered a “repeat offender” under the current collective bargaining agreement, as his last suspension came in 2013.

Of course, part of that clean record is due to the fact he hasn’t played much. Torres has largely been sidelined by injury for the last two seasons, missing all of last year with knee problems.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman delved further into the repeat offender thing in his latest 30 Thoughts column:

If you read the relevant sections of the CBA, the league takes the position that the repeat offender status is only applicable to fines. Repeaters are fined on a per-game basis, non-repeaters on a per-day basis. (The former is more expensive, because there are fewer games than days in an NHL season.) However, if you go to Section 18.2, among the factors taken into account are, “the status of the offender and, specifically, whether the Player has a history of being subject to Supplementary Discipline for On-Ice Conduct.”

So, in the NHL’s view, a player’s history is relevant, even if longer than 18 months ago.

Should the report prove accurate and Torres doesn’t appeal, he will be eligible to return to action on Jan. 14, when the Sharks take on the Oilers.