Andrei Markov

Habs’ Markov signs with KHL Vityaz

Veteran Montreal defenseman Andrei Markov has agreed to join KHL club Vityaz Chekov, according to Russian news outlet RIA Novosti.

Markov, 33, said he chose to sign with Vityaz because the club employs many ex-Dynamo Moscow front office staffers — Markov played with Dynamo during the last lockout and starred with the club before joining the Canadiens in 2000.

As for Markov’s new club, Vityaz is best known as one of the toughest and most violent teams in Russia. It currently employs the likes of former Islanders enforcer Trevor Gillies and Jeremy Yablonski, the guy that once did this…to his current teammate, Trevor Gillies:

Last November, Yablonski was suspended for the remainder of the 2011-12 season for this nasty sucker punch.

In terms of real hockey players, Vityaz features ex-AHL scoring sensation Mark Cullen, longtime NHL defenseman Danny Markov and former Sharks winger Alex Korolyuk.

It’ll be interesting to see how Markov fares in the KHL after missing almost all of the last two years with various knee injuries. He appeared in just seven games in 2010-11 and only 13 in 2011-12, though he did manage to record six points in those 20 games.

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.