Dan Boyle, Alex Ovechkin

Boyle worries about damage lockout’s doing to NHL


San Jose Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle is a bit different from most NHL players. Plenty of them will talk about how much the lockout sucks, few of them will openly direct any of the blame on their side.

Boyle did just that when he said “I think right now both sides think it’s their way or the highway” last month.

For him, this isn’t about money — at least not on a personal level. He wants a deal that’s “fair for everybody,” but he’s 36 years old and has already made his fortune.

“It’s not the checks that I’m missing. My biggest concern is the fans,” Boyle said, in a CSN Bay Area report. “I’m so grateful and thankful to be playing this game, but if there’s nobody in the stands to play in front of, that’s the worst part. And that’s my biggest concern, is we’re hurting the game.

“We had some good steam coming in here. That’s what I worry about every day, and that’s what I talk to my wife about. I just don’t want to damage the fans, and the game.”

Of course, if the lockout does damage the NHL — and the fact that games have been missed that won’t be replaced makes that a certainty, at least in the short-term — that will shrink the pie both sides are fighting over.

Meanwhile, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman proposed a two-week moratorium on CBA talks, which Boyle, like many others, is against.

“I don’t understand it, because time is of the essence. I’d rather hammer away at it than waste another two weeks when time is so crucial,” Boyle said.

The NHLPA wants to resume CBA talks next week. We’ll see if the league agrees to that.


Why did Bettman suggest a two-week moratorium on talks?

Report: Based on NHL charts, league thinks gap might be over $1 billion

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.