Dana Tyrell

Lightning’s Tyrell signs in Slovak league

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Dana Tyrell has agreed to a lockout deal with Slovak Extraliga club Banska Bystrica, according to the team website.

Banska has been in the news of late thanks to its aggressive pursuit of locked-out NHLers. The team first agreed to a deal with San Jose Sharks forward Michal Handzus two weeks ago, then inked Minnesota defenseman Clayton Stoner and Pittsburgh forward Tanner Glass within the last 14 days.

Tyrell, 23, is another nice addition for the Slovak club, though he did fall on hard times during the 2011-12 campaign after posting career highs (78 games, 6G-9A-15PTS) in 2010-11.

He missed the final 35 games of last season with an ACL injury in his right knee, the second major knee injury of his career (he suffered similar ligament damage prior to the 2009 World Juniors while playing an exhibition game for Team Canada.)

That said, the Lightning though enough of Tyrell’s game to sign him to a two-year, $1.2 million deal last season, one that will keep him in Tampa Bay through 2014.

Lightning head coach Guy Boucher said what Tyrell brings to the ice is vital to his team’s success.

“I strongly believe that any team that does well has a lot of good foot soldiers, and he’s definitely one of those guys,” Boucher told the Lightning website. “People will label players as a hitter, a fighter, a scorer or a passer. There’s one type of individual we never label and they are puck retrievers. They’re probably the most important guys in the game.

“That’s what [Tyrell] does best. If he’s not able to play, it’s less pucks for the team, for sure.”

Add Lecavalier to list of expensive Flyers healthy scratches

Vincent Lecavalier
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Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?

While lineups are obviously subject to change, CSNPhilly.com notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.

Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.

That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench, and that’s only counting what the Flyers are paying Gagner.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”

The CSNPhilly.com quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.

Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.

It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.

Video: NHL drops hammer, suspends Torres for 41 games


One of the NHL’s most notorious hitters has been tagged by the league.

On Monday, the Department of Player Safety announced that San Jose forward Raffi Torres has been suspended 41 games — half of the regular season — for an illegal check to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The length of Torres’ suspension is a combination of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ history of delivering hits to the heads of opposing players, including Jordan Eberle, Jarret Stoll, Nate Prosser and Marian Hossa.

“Torres has repeatedly violated league playing rules,” the Department of Player Safety explained. “And has been sanctioned multiple times for similar infractions.”

The league also noted that Torres has been warned, fined, or suspended on nine occasions over the course of his career, “the majority of which have involved a hit to an opponent’s head.”

“Same player every year,” Ducks forward Ryan Kesler said following the hit on Silfverberg. “I played with the guy [in Vancouver]. He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”

As for what lies ahead, things could get interesting upon potential appeal:

Torres successfully appealed a suspension under the previous CBA, getting his punishment for the Hossa hit reduced from 25 to 21 games.

Under terms of the new CBA, Torres isn’t categorized as a repeat offender because his last suspension came in May of 2013 — more than two years ago.

Of course, part of the reason Torres hasn’t run afoul of the league in two years is because he’s barely played.

Knee injuries limited Torres to just 12 games in ’13-14, and he sat out last season entirely.