We still don’t know if there will even be a 2013 season, but the lockout negotiations are slowly progressing and teams need to be ready to move quickly in case an agreement is reached.
With that in mind, many coaching staffs are returning to their cities of employment while some GMs head straight from watching the World Junior Championship to their offices, according to an Ottawa Sun report.
If all goes well with the negotiations, the regular season could start on Jan. 19 following about a week of training camp. Consequently, GMs that still need to sign players or make trades to finalize their rosters won’t have much time to act.
For example, the Montreal Canadiens’ PK Subban and the New York Rangers’ Michael Del Zotto are still restricted free agents. Then of course there’s the question of what the Vancouver Canucks will do with Roberto Luongo.
At the same time, coaches will have to get their players up to speed and on the same page. That task will be made especially difficult because the players will be at various stages of readiness depending on how they spent the lockout.
Still, for any of those challenges to matter in the short term, the league and union need to come to an agreement soon.
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.