John Tavares

Swiss league player fined for biting John Tavares


Switzerland’s National League “A” has fined defenseman Clarence Kparghai 900 Swiss francs — approximately $1000 USD — for biting New York Islanders forward John Tavares.

IIHF communications manager Szymon Szemberg passes along word of the punishment, explaining the incident occurred on Dec. 22 in a game between Kparghai’s Biel team and SC Bern, Tavares’ club during the lockout.

Here’s an enthralling Google translation of what transpired:

Based on the collected evidence – the brief reports of Canton Doctor of Canton train and specialist in forensic medicine FMH and the finding of John Tavares examining physician – and the statements of the parties involved at the confrontation interrogation considered the single judge it as proven that actually John Tavares of Clarence Kparghai has been bitten…

…His conduct violated a general principle of law. Note to be, not in the sense that even the IIHF Rule 527 there was an injury dangerous in football technical sense, however. Simple assault under Article 123 of the Criminal Code in the form of a bite Bieler was in favor of the defender to be considered in mitigation of punishment that John Tavares his opponent “in a headlock” and took that in Clarence Kparghai was therefore in a self-defense situation.

Tavares, who recently captured gold with Team Canada at the Spengler Cup, is now back playing in the Swiss league, no doubt thrilled the market value for chomping him has been set at a thousand bucks.

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, 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 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.