Gary Bettman

Bettman, Leonsis will meet with Congress members for Hockey Caucus Briefing on Wednesday


NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis and USA Hockey executive director Dave Ogrean are scheduled to join members of Congress for a Congressional Hockey Caucus Briefing on Wednesday in Capitol Hill.

According to the press release, the briefing’s focus will be on “the state of hockey in the U.S., including instructional hockey and safety in youth sports.” More specifically, the briefing will review USA Hockey’s American Developmental Model (ADM).

The meeting also serves as the moment where the first two NHL/Thurgood Marshall College Fund scholarships will be unveiled. Two students who participated in “NHL’s Hockey is for Everyone” shall receive a four-year scholarship to any college or university in the United States. The money for that scholarship was raised by the annual Congressional Hockey Challenge, a charitable event that will continue with the 2013 edition on April 27 at the Verizon Center.

All in all, it sounds like the kind of work that could pay long-term dividends for the sport, whether recipients make it to the big time or not.

Here are the Congress members who will be on hand: Reps. Lee Terry, Pat Meehan, Mike Quigley, Brian Higgins, Erik Paulsen and Larry Bucshon. NBC reporter Luke Russert will be the moderator during the panel discussion.

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?