Veteran NHL defenseman Mike Commodore has signed a professional tryout offer with Montreal’s AHL team, the Hamilton Bulldogs.
Commodore, 33, split last season between Detroit and Tampa Bay, registering two assists in 30 games while averaging just over 12 minutes per night. The Lightning didn’t extend Commodore’s contract for 2012-13, making him an unrestricted free agent.
The colorful rearguard has fallen on tough times since signing a five-year, $18.75 million deal with Columbus prior to the 2008-09 campaign.
While his first season in Ohio was successful — he appeared in 81 games, finished second in defenseman scoring and played a key role in the BJ’s first-ever playoff appearance — things went south shortly thereafter.
Commodore saw his playing time steadily decrease until things hit rock bottom in 2010-11. After being made a healthy scratch in seven of eight games by then-head coach Scott Arniel, Commodore requested a trade but was instead put on waivers.
He ended up playing only 20 NHL games that season and 11 with AHL Springfield, meaning he does have some fairly recent experience in the American league. That should serve him well in Hamilton, as the Bulldogs blueline has been decimated by injury as of late and could use Commodore’s presence in the lineup.
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.
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.