Jordan Eberle

Eberle named AHL’s top player for December, Holtby named top goalie


Jordan Eberle has been named the AHL’s player of the month for the second straight month. The Oilers forward who’s spending the NHL lockout with the Oklahoma City Barons racked up 11 goals and nine assists in December, including a hat trick in less than three minutes on Dec. 31.

Eberle leads the AHL with 49 points in 32 games. In second place is teammate Justin Schultz, whose 45 points are ten more than the league’s third-place scorer, Springfield (Blue Jackets) forward Cam Atkinson.

Two other AHL monthly awards were announced today. Hershey (Capitals) goalie Braden Holtby was named top goaltender and Texas (Stars) forward Reilly Smith was named top rookie.

Holtby’s impressive month (1.69 GAA, .943 SV%, three shutouts) is welcome news for the Caps, who once the NHL returns will be counting on the 23-year-old to build on last year’s playoff performance.

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.