Jason Spezza’s Swiss adventure is over.
That’s the word out of Ottawa on Wednesday as Spezza informed his club team, Rapperswill-Jona, he’s headed back to North America.
More, from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun:
The Senators centre has informed the Rapperswill-Jona Lakers he will not be returning — at least for now — after winning the Spengler Cup with Team Canada Monday. He will return to Ottawa to see if there’s going to be a collective bargaining agreement in place for a shortened NHL season.
The Lakers confirmed on their website Wednesday morning that Spezza was on his way home because he’s confident the league and the NHLPA are going to get an agreement in place by the Jan. 19 deadline to resume playing.
Few locked-out NHLers have enjoyed a more successful European campaign than Spezza.
He joined Rapperswil early (mid-September), played a ton of hockey (29 games with the Lakers, four with Team Canada at the Spengler), racked up a ton of points (30, 11th in Swiss league scoring) and, perhaps most importantly, avoided injury.
All told, Ottawa could be in pretty solid shape when (if?) play resumes.
Spezza is just one on a long list of Senators that played extensively overseas during the work stoppage, joining Erik Karlsson, Kyle Turris, Erik Condra, Peter Regin, Colin Greening, Milan Michalek, Mike Lundin and Zack Smith.
You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.
We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.
“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.
These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.
Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.
It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.
With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.
It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:
It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).
As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.
Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:
This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.
Update: Bullet dodged?