If there’s going to be a players’ meeting with the owners, you can count a couple key Sabres players out of it.
Bill Hoppe of the Olean Times Herald spoke with Jordan Leopold, Buffalo’s player representative, and he had strong words about any possible meeting between the two sides.
“I’m not going to be there,” Leopold said. “I don’t want any part of it.”
He was only getting warmed up.
“I think it’s funny we have Don Fehr on our side. After two years, he seems to get under the owners’ skin. They want to remove one for one. I don’t know where this will lead us. It’s an interesting concept.”
Thomas Vanek was similarly skeptical of the NHL’s motives.
“They have a guy in place in Gary [Bettman]. They pay him. We have a guy in place in Don [Fehr]. That should be good enough. I think just another PR stunt to show that they’re trying to do anything.”
The amount of mistrust from many of the players for the owners is incredible. At some point, that relationship has to be patched up to make things happen.
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.