Drew Stafford

Stafford won’t ask out of Buffalo


With just four goals in 30 games, and on a Sabres team that appears destined to miss the playoffs again, it’s no surprise that Drew Stafford’s name has popped up in trade speculation.

Stafford, however, has no intention of asking out of Buffalo.

“No, absolutely not,” the 27-year-old said, per WGR 550. “That’s not something that’s part of my character. I was brought up a certain way and I’m here to focus on the controllables and that’s how I’m playing. If I’m going in there and demanding this and demanding that, that’s just not the type of person I am, so I’m never going to quit no matter how bad it gets.”

Stafford is signed through 2014-15 with an annual salary and cap hit of $4 million. He had a career best 31 goals in 2010-11; however, that was with a shooting percentage  of 17.3, considerably higher than his career average (11.6%).

Could he get back to that level with a change of scenery and some new teammates? Teams may be curious enough to inquire.

In the meantime, the Sabres could use a goal or two from Stafford tonight at home to the Leafs. Particularly since they’ll be without leading scorer Thomas Vanek, who will sit out with a lower-body injury.

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: Bullet dodged?