Goaltender Mike Vernon #30 and Brian MacLellan #27 of the Calgary Flames Alumni defend the net against Mike Keane #12 of the Montreal Canadiens Alumni during the Alumni game held as part of the 2011 NHL Heritage Classic festivities at McMahon Stadium on February 19, 2011 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
(February 18, 2011 - Source: Andre Ringuette/Getty Images North America)

Report: Winnipeg, Vancouver might host outdoor games


The Winter Classic will return next year — and it looks like we’ll see more Heritage Classics in the near future too.

The Heritage Classic is a series of outdoor games hosted by Canadian teams.

The first took place between the Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers in 2003. After the Winter Classic proved to be a successful annual tradition, the Calgary Flames hosted the Canadiens in 2011.

The NHL has plans to continue that series with contests in 2014 and 2016, according to a Winnipeg Free Press source.

The 2014 could take place in Vancouver while Winnipeg Jets owner Mark Chipman confirmed that he’s in talks with the NHL about hosting an outdoor game. Chipman is hoping that he’ll be able to make an announcement within the next month.

BC Place could be the site of the 2014 game while the soon-to-be-opened Investors Group Field might be the location of an outdoor game in Winnipeg.

Meanwhile, the 2014 Winter Classic will reportedly be between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs.

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: All that’s been announced about Silfverberg is that he’s under evaluation and will not return.