Jonathan Ericsson was supposed to earn $3.25 million this season while playing on a Detroit Red Wings’ blueline that had something to prove following the retirement of Nicklas Lidstrom. Instead, he’s spending his days participating in player workouts so that he’ll be as close to ready as possible if the season is saved.
Unfortunately, the NHL-NHLPA negotiations have been basically dead lately despite the fact that we’re rapidly approaching the mid-January deadline to save the season. Faced with that grim reality, staying upbeat can’t be easy.
“I’m really bored. It gets old. You don’t even know why you’re on the ice, why you’re waking up,” Ericsson said, according to Bob Duff.
“Am I doing this for a reason? The motivation goes up and down.”
Ericsson also tried to stay sharp with stints in Sweden earlier in the season. However, only ended up playing in three games with Vita Hasten of Sweden’s third-tier league and another four games Sodertalje of Sweden’s second-division. He left for tax reasons, but he was getting plenty of ice time while he was there.
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.