Shawn Thornton, John Scott

Bruins’ Thornton hurt in fight, to be evaluated today (Update: 7-10 days, concussion)


Boston’s Shawn Thornton might want to think twice before engaging Buffalo’s John Scott again.

Last night, the two squared off to see just what kind of protective muscle the Sabres had brought in this summer. The end result saw Thornton handled with ease and he wound up leaving the game after serving his five minutes. After the game, Bruins coach Claude Julien told reporters there was no update on his condition, as Joe Haggerty at shares.

“We’ll know more [Friday],” said Claude Julien. “He’s being evaluated, until we get a definite answer [there is] nothing more.”

In the meantime, the Bruins have called up Jamie Tardif from Providence on an emergency basis.

We all know the dangers of fighting and it’s safe to say Thornton knows them as well as anyone. When dealing with a 6’8″ monster like Scott, however, perhaps it’s best to just leave things alone.

After all, this isn’t the first time Scott’s left an opponent dazed and injured after a fight, just ask Alexandre Bolduc.

Update: The Bruins have announced that Thornton will be out 7-10 days with a concussion. It remains unclear why a timeframe has been put on a concussion (or, that particular timeframe) especially given the uncertainty of recovery from head injury.

Regardless, that’s what the Bruins are claiming.

Raffl coverts PTO into one-year, $575K deal with Jets

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There’s another Raffl in the NHL.

On Tuesday, the Jets announced that Thomas Raffl — the older brother of Flyers forward Michael Raffl — has signed a one-year, one-way deal worth $575,000.

Raffl, 29, was in Winnipeg’s camp on a PTO after a lengthy career in Europe. He spent time playing in Sweden and his native Austria, most recently with powerhouse EC Red Bull Salzburg — last year, Raffl scored 53 points in 52 games for Salzburg and three in seven games for Austria while serving as team captain at the World Hockey Championships.

“We would like to recognize and express our appreciation to the EC Red Bull Salzburg organization for allowing Thomas and the Winnipeg Jets this opportunity,” Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said in a statement.

With the Jets, Raffl projects to play in the bottom-six forward group, where he can utilize his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame in a checking-slash-energy role.

For now, though, he’ll start out with the club’s AHL affiliate in Manitoba.

Flyers to start season with seven d-men; MacDonald sent to AHL

Andrew MacDonald, Matt Calvert
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Seven defensemen will comprise the Philadelphia Flyers’ opening-day roster, which the club finalized today.

Those seven are Radko Gudas, Michael Del Zotto, Luke Schenn, Nick Schultz, Brandon Manning, Mark Streit, and Evgeny Medvedev.

Not on the list? Andrew MacDonald, who has cleared waivers and been assigned to AHL Lehigh Valley. (That move allowed the Flyers to keep both Manning and youngster Scott Laughton.)

Also not on the list were prospects Shayne Gostisbehere, Robert Hagg, Sam Morin, Ivan Provorov and Travis Sanheim. The first three will start the season in the AHL. The last two have been sent back to junior.

But the opening-day roster is not where this story ends. How the Flyers’ defensive mix changes as the season progresses will be worth watching.

They’d no doubt love to move Schenn, a pending unrestricted free agent with a $3.6 million cap hit. He could also end up in the AHL, a la MacDonald.

Medvedev, the 33-year-old who came over from the KHL and put up five points in five preseason games, is another pending UFA. The club could either look to re-sign or flip him.

Might 37-year-old Streit be a chip worth cashing in at the deadline, especially if the Flyers aren’t in a playoff position on Feb. 29? He’s only got two years left on his contract.

Meanwhile, GM Ron Hextall will be watching pending restricted free agents Manning and Gudas closely. Are they part of the future?

So, lots of decisions to make in Philly as the blue line continues its much-needed transition.