Calgary Flames v San Jose Sharks

Report: Sharks lone Western Conference team to open on Jan. 20


The San Jose Sharks will get an extended training camp.

That’s the optimist’s view of it, anyway, as reports surfaced on Thursday claiming San Jose would be the lone Western Conference team not to play on Jan. 19.

Instead, the Sharks will open the 2013 campaign in Calgary on Jan. 20.

Here’s more, from David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News:

Because all games are being played within each 15-team conference, one franchise in the East and one in the West won’t be in action when the NHL resumes on Jan. 19.

A source familiar with the situation said that appears to be San Jose’s fate.

While starting on Jan. 20 could give the Sharks an extra day of training camp, it would have them returning to action on the same day as the NFC championship — a game the 49ers would be competing in if they get past Green Bay this weekend.

The Sharks went 2-1-1 against the Flames last season, posting a 1-0-1 record at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

It should be noted the NHL schedule likely won’t be released until Saturday — that being the day NHLPA votes on ratifying the new CBA — but there have been steady leaks as to which teams will open on Jan. 19.


Report: Bruins to open season against Rangers

Report: Ducks open season in Vancouver, Blue Jackets in Nashville

Report: Kings to host ‘Hawks on opening night

Report: Red Wings, Blues to face off in season opener

Report: Potential openers for Avs, Wild, Leafs, Sens, Habs, and Jets revealed

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.