Sin City is out for this year’s NHL Awards.
That’s the word on Tuesday from ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, who reports the league’s 2013 hardware (trophies, not tools) party won’t be held in Las Vegas — but notes the hiatus is only temporary.
More, from ESPN:
Sources suggest to ESPN.com that the annual awards gala will not be held in Sin City, as has been the case the last few years. The NHL owes two more years on its current contract with the folks in Vegas and will honor those starting again next season.
But for this year, because of the lockout-shortened season meaning there’s a lack of available dates in June — the Stanley Cup finals should go well into the month — the awards are going to have to have a different look.
In 2009, the NHL struck a deal with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority on a three-year agreement to host the awards. The 2009 show marked the first time the league had awarded its trophies in Las Vegas (at the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel.) LeBrun notes the NHL owes two more years on its current contract, and will begin to honor those next season.
LeBrun also adds no plans have been finalized to replace the Nevada excursion for 2013, but that ideas for a “made-for-TV event in July” or “a preseason gala in September” have been kicked around.
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.