2011 Heritage Classic - Calgary Flames Practice

Former NHLer Peplinski: Ban bodychecking in hockey until age 16


Jim Peplinski, who played 11 seasons with Calgary Flames, has spoken up about bodychecking in minor hockey across Canada.

According to a story in the Globe and Mail on Wednesday, Peplinski is calling for a nationwide ban on bodychecking until at least the age of 16. As per the Globe and Mail, Peplinski was speaking on the subject at a sport concussions seminar at the University of Calgary.

“On this path, I think we’re going to become dinosaurs,” Peplinski said.

“I’d question whether I’d have kids in hockey as it’s currently organized…I don’t think I would.”

In March, CBC News published an article stating the majority of hockey parents support raising the age of when bodychecking is allowed in minor hockey.

Here’s a snippet of the article:

The Rick Hansen Institute — a not-for-profit organization that works to research and promote the advancement of treatments for spinal cord injuries in Canada — commissioned Angus Reid Public Opinion who surveyed 2,017 adults with children who play hockey or who are fans of the game.

Currently, the practice is allowed in some areas of the country starting at 11 years of age.

The survey — the first of its kind to features fans and hockey parents — found that 88 per cent would support a national policy that would totally eliminate body checking in hockey for ages 11 and 12.

You can read the full version here.

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?