Blues GM sends Allen to minors, expects Halak-Elliott to be goalie duo


For the time being, it looks like the St. Louis Blues will settle for a goalie duo of Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott.

On the heels of sending solid rookie Jake Allen to the AHL’s Peoria Rivermen on Saturday, Blues GM Doug Armstrong told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford that it will be Halak and Elliott for the rest of the year.

Then again, Rutherford points out a key caveat: rosters can bloat to 23 players following the trade deadline, so St. Louis can change course in the near future, anyway.

It’s a puzzling move if you look at the goalies’ records, although none of them have put up outstanding individual stats:

Allen: 8-3-0 with a .906 save percentage and 2.45 GAA
Halak: 6-5-1 with a .897 save percentage and 2.19 GAA
Elliott: 3-6-1 with a .851 save percentage and 3.65 GAA

Allen, 22, has the slight edge on Halak while Elliott’s numbers are just abysmal. It’s worth noting that Halak and Elliott have contracts that extend through the 2013-14 season while Allen is a restricted free agent after this season.

For now, it appears that the Blues are hoping that their two veteran goalies – including Elliott, who was a 2012 All-Star – can get the job done and make it easier to break apart the team’s three-headed monster.

With a three-game losing streak and a tenuous grasp on the West’s eighth playoff spot in mind, some believe that demoting Allen is a shaky gamble.

Add Lecavalier to list of expensive Flyers healthy scratches

Vincent Lecavalier
Leave a comment

Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?

While lineups are obviously subject to change, CSNPhilly.com notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.

Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.

That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench, and that’s only counting what the Flyers are paying Gagner.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”

The CSNPhilly.com quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.

Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.

It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.

Video: NHL drops hammer, suspends Torres for 41 games


One of the NHL’s most notorious hitters has been tagged by the league.

On Monday, the Department of Player Safety announced that San Jose forward Raffi Torres has been suspended 41 games — half of the regular season — for an illegal check to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The length of Torres’ suspension is a combination of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ history of delivering hits to the heads of opposing players, including Jordan Eberle, Jarret Stoll, Nate Prosser and Marian Hossa.

“Torres has repeatedly violated league playing rules,” the Department of Player Safety explained. “And has been sanctioned multiple times for similar infractions.”

The league also noted that Torres has been warned, fined, or suspended on nine occasions over the course of his career, “the majority of which have involved a hit to an opponent’s head.”

“Same player every year,” Ducks forward Ryan Kesler said following the hit on Silfverberg. “I played with the guy [in Vancouver]. He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”

As for what lies ahead, things could get interesting upon potential appeal:

Torres successfully appealed a suspension under the previous CBA, getting his punishment for the Hossa hit reduced from 25 to 21 games.

Under terms of the new CBA, Torres isn’t categorized as a repeat offender because his last suspension came in May of 2013 — more than two years ago.

Of course, part of the reason Torres hasn’t run afoul of the league in two years is because he’s barely played.

Knee injuries limited Torres to just 12 games in ’13-14, and he sat out last season entirely.