The St. Louis Blues’ three’s company goaltending routine is getting cut down, at least for a weekend. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that struggling former All-Star Brian Elliott has been sent to the team’s AHL affiliate for conditioning purposes.
Blues GM Doug Armstrong explains why it will be a short but potentially useful stint.
“We don’t play this weekend and he wasn’t going to play tonight,” Armstrong said. “It gives him an opportunity to play two games in two nights. The feeling was he needed to get some games.”
The trip didn’t just happen because Elliott, 27, will be able to squeeze in contests on Friday and Saturday with the Peoria Rivermen. It’s likely that the team kept him around a little longer so that the Matt D’Agostini trade could go through.
Naturally, some might wonder if the Blues are trying to keep Elliott in shape for trade deadline reasons.
They’re carrying three goalies (Elliott, Jake Allen and Jaroslav Halak) on their NHL roster, which is not exactly ideal. It’s also interesting that Elliott and Halak have contracts through 2013-14 while Allen is a restricted free agent this summer.
One might see that as a formula for a trade, yet Elliott’s value is low and Armstrong shot down Halak rumors.
Either way, the Blues’ netminding situation looks set to be an interesting scenario to watch, especially in the next week.
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.