Cervenka Flames

Flames’ Cervenka moves back to KHL

Calgary forward Roman Cervenka has returned to the KHL, agreeing to a deal with Lev Praha.

The 26-year-old has yet to play for the Flames since signing a one-year, $3.77 million deal in May. The lockout has prevented him from both suiting up and making good on a number of performance bonuses (Cervenka inked an incentive-laden deal; his base salary is $925,000.)

Cervenka had spent the lockout playing for Slavia Praha of the Czech Extraliga, scoring 13 points in nine games, but is now primed to return to the Russian league in which he made a name for himself.

In 2009-10, Cervenka teamed with Jaromir Jagr to play for Avangard Omsk, and the pair emerged as one of the league’s most dynamic scoring duos. Last year, with Jagr in Philly, Cervenka shouldered the load solo and wound up leading the KHL in playoff scoring (22 points in 20 games.)

“[Flames assistant GM] John Weisbrod went to see him play early in the KHL Playoffs and came away confirming everything we had heard from our scouts in Europe,” Flames GM Jay Feaster said upon signing Cervenka. “We made an aggressive pitch to convince him that Calgary was the perfect place for him to start his NHL career, and we are extremely pleased Roman agreed.”

With Lev Praha, Cervenka will play alongside fellow locked-out NHLers Zdeno Chara, Jakub Voracek and, perhaps most interestingly, new Flames teammate Jiri Hudler.

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.