The Washington Capitals announced that defenseman Jack Hillen is “week-to-week” with a shoulder injury after sustaining this hit from Vincent Lecavalier in Saturday’s 6-3 loss to the Lightning:
The hit occurred midway through the second period and forced Hillen from the contest. The injury appears to be to his left shoulder, though it’s unclear exactly what the ailment is.
Lecavalier wasn’t penalized on the play.
According to CSN Washington, the Caps have recalled defenseman Tomas Kundratek to take Hillen’s place in the lineup.
Kundratek, 23, leads AHL Hershey in defenseman scoring (13 goals) and is a right-handed shot, like Hillen. It’s possible he’ll replace Hillen in the lineup for Tuesday’s home opener against the Jets, though head coach Adam Oates could switch things up from the seven defensemen and 11 forwards he dressed on Saturday.
CSN’s Chuck Gormley said it’s “expected” that Oates will go with 12 forwards against Winnipeg, giving Caps winger Eric Fehr a chance to make his season debut and go up against the team he played for last season.
Winnipeg didn’t offer Fehr a new contract this past summer, and Washington inked him to a one-year deal at the start of training camp.
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.