In what might be classified as a case of mistaken identities, former Ottawa Senator forward Jesse Winchester has agreed to join Finnish second division team TuTo.
This development comes four days after reports claimed TuTo was close to signing another Winchester — Brad, formerly of the San Jose Sharks — to a lockout deal.
But rest assured, all four people who care about this: It’s Jesse Winchester that’s off to Finland.
Winchester, 29, spent the last five years with the Ottawa organization after a standout career at Colgate University. His best season came in 2008-09, when he appeared in 76 games and posted 3G-15A-18PTS.
Last season was a tough one for Winchester as he missed 44 games with a concussion. While he did recover and return for Ottawa’s opening-round loss to the Rangers, he was hurt once again (upper-body) and missed the final three contests of the series.
Compounding matters was his contract status. His two-year, $1.5 million deal with Ottawa expired this offseason, meaning he hit the market as a UFA coming off an injury-plagued campaign.
In July, Winchester told the Ottawa Sun he was remaining upbeat and was convinced he’d find a place to play.
“There will be a place for me at some point,” he explained. “I’ve just got to stay upbeat and positive. I’ll be ready when something happens.”
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.
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?