Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alex Edler spoke publicly for the first time since the National Hockey League handed him a two-game suspension for colliding with Phoenix Coyotes goalie Mike Smith on Thursday.
“Obviously I am disappointed I am suspended,” Edler told the Vancouver Sun on Saturday.
“I had no intention of making any contact with the goalie. I was going for the puck. The decision is made now. I have to look forward.”
“I have been in the league for seven years and I think I have been a clean player…I haven’t had a major penalty or anything.”
Edler received the two-game ban on Friday evening, around 6 p.m. PT.
The Canucks issued a brief statement, not long after the suspension was handed down, saying the club respected the league’s decision but may not agree with it.
The Canucks, without Edler and thanks to strong goaltending from Cory Schneider, defeated the L.A. Kings Saturday by a score of 1-0.
Edler will serve out the remainder of his suspension Sunday, when the Canucks travel to Denver to play the Colorado Avalanche.
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.