Ted Black

Buffalo enriches staff through Sabres University


Unlike other franchises, the Buffalo Sabres haven’t fired or reduced the pay of any staff member as a result of the ongoing lockout. Instead, they’ve opened up Sabres University.

Sabres president Ted Black came up with the idea of using the extra time that the lockout has provided to educated their employees in over 30 areas of team operation, based on an ESPN report.

Buffalo is hosting lessons twice a week on subjects that include scouting, public speaking, fitness and diet, and coaching strategy.

It’s given employees a chance to learn more about every aspect of the game of hockey while also providing members of the organization with a chance to shine by teaching their co-workers about what they do for a living.

“It was really gratifying to see them empowered that way,” Black said, referring to the staff members who make the ice. That class in particular proved popular.

Some of the courses are mandatory and one example of that is the history of the Sabres. In certain cases, Black has also encouraged departments to take some of the classes. For example, he wanted the website and broadcasting personnel to participate in the scouting class to see if they could make use of the team’s scouting videos.

In the end, the employees should have a richer and broader understanding of the sport as a result of Sabres University, and that could give them an edge when this lockout finally concludes.

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 CSNNE.com’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.