Steven Stamkos; Steve Downie

Stamkos practices with OHL’s Oshawa Generals

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There are plenty of players who have taken their game to Europe or the AHL during the lockout. For Steven Stamkos, a young guy not looking to go abroad and unable to play in the AHL, he’s taking his game back to junior hockey with the OHL’s Oshawa Generals.

No, he’s not there to break the rules and play in games – it’s just practice for the former 60-goal scorer as Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times shares.

“This was my first opportunity to get out there,” Stamkos said. “They’re a really good team this year, a good coaching staff, well-run practices, so it was good to get back to that practice atmosphere.”

He’s jonesin’ so bad for some hockey action he did it with a team he didn’t even play for during his days in juniors (Stamkos played for Sarnia back in the day). Stamkos has been working out with other players back in Tampa, but was seeking a change of pace.

Will he return to Oshawa at all? If the lockout persists he tells Cristodero he will.

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.