Galchenyuk USA

Galchenyuk, Jones highlight U.S. World Junior camp roster


Looking to get back into the medals after a one-year hiatus, USA Hockey named its preliminary roster for the 2013 World Junior tournament on Tuesday — a roster built largely on this year’s draft class and one key prospect for next year.

The list is highlighted by Alex Galchenyuk — taken third overall by Montreal in 2012 — and Seth Jones, the WHL Portland defenseman widely regarded to be the best blueliner in the 2013 draft class and an odds-on favorites to go first overall.

The new-look Team USA will return just three players from the side that finished a disappointing seventh in last year’s tournament. Goalie John Gibson, defenseman Jacob Trouba and forward J.T. Miller will be the returnees, with the strength of the camp roster coming from the 2012 NHL draft, where 11 of the first 50 picks were American players.

Among the notable ’12 draftees headed to Tarrytown, NY, from Dec. 16-18:

— Galchenyuk (Montreal, first round, 3rd overall)
— Trouba (Winnipeg, first round, 9th overall)
— Brady Skjei (New York Rangers, first round, 28th overall)
— Stefan Matteau (New Jersey Devils, first round, 29th overall)
— Patrick Sieloff (Calgary, second round, 42nd overall)
— Jake McCabe (Buffalo, second round, 44th overall)

The other big change for USA Hockey comes behind the bench, where Phil Housley takes over for Dean Blais. It’s an intriguing transition to say the least — under Blais, the team enjoyed a tremendous amount of success by winning gold in 2010 (America’s second tournament win ever) and bronze in 2011.

That said, Blais was also at the helm for last year’s disastrous finish, which saw the U.S. dropped to the relegation round for the first time since 1999.

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’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.