It appears another Sabre is ready to jump the pond.
That’s the word out of Buffalo on Friday as team captain Jason Pominville is reportedly set to sign with Mannheim of the German league, according to Bill Hoppe of the Olean Times Herald.
Pominville told Hoppe he’s been in talks with Mannheim for a while and figured now was a good time to join the club — especially in light of stalled CBA negotiations.
“If it does get settled quick, then I’ll be able to skate for a few weeks, a month – whatever it is,” Pominville said. “It’ll be a mini training camp. And if not, I’ll have a team for the rest of the season.
“I think it’s a move I wanted to do. I just want to play.”
Once the signing’s official, Pominville will become the third locked-out NHLer to join Mannheim. The Deutsche Eishockey Liga club already has Florida’s Marcel Goc and Boston’s Dennis Seidenberg in the mix and also has a standing offer to German-born Jochen Hecht, Pominville’s teammate in Buffalo.
“It’s a team my family felt comfortable going to,” Pominville explained. “We know that maybe eventually Jochen will be there. We’ll be living close to our friends. That’s the good part about it.”
With the move, Pominville becomes the eighth Sabre to have signed overseas during the lockout, joining Tyler Ennis (Switzerland), Andrej Sekera (Slovak Extraliga), Thomas Vanek (Austria), Tyler Myers (Austria), Alex Sulzer (Germany), Jhonas Enroth (Sweden) and Mike Weber (Norway).
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.