On paper, adding a first-round talent like Chris Kreider to the struggling New York Rangers’ lineup makes perfect sense. Head coach John Tortorella told the Bergen Record that a call-up isn’t so obvious a choice when you ponder the possibility that he could be sent back to the AHL again, though.
“We don’t want to keep on knee jerking him back and forth, we want to make sure if we do (call him up), we feel he’s ready to play,” Tortorella said.
The 21-year-old center played with the Connecticut Whale during the lockout before starting the regular season with the Rangers. Things got bumpy around Feb. 12 as he was sent back and forth due to Rick Nash’s murky injury status; eventually he saw his last bit of NHL action on Feb. 26 against the Winnipeg Jets.
Simply put, Kreider’s numbers haven’t been there yet, with just a goal and an assist in 11 games after showing flashes of brilliance during his well-publicized NHL debut in the 2012 playoffs.
Again, the Rangers can use the boost, but it sounds like Tortorella is going to tread lightly when it comes to the development of prospects such as Kreider.
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.