At the same time his goalie, Sergei Bobrovsky, is reportedly being pursued by SKA Saint Petersburg, Columbus Blue Jackets’ general manager Jarmo Kekalainen has opened up about the threat of losing players to the KHL.
“It’s real because of the amount of money they’re offering in some cases,” said Kekalainen, as per tweets from Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch.
“For some guys the money is too good to pass. And, for NHL clubs, if a guy is offered $5M more than you can pay, well then, ‘do svidaniya.'”
Portzline also stated that Kekalainen was not talking specifically about Bobrovsky, but just in general.
Bobrovsky, at the age of 24, emerged as a standout NHL goalie this season after posting a 21-11-6 record and .932 save percentage, which was good enough for second among netminders.
It also got him a Vezina Trophy nomination.
He is set to become a restricted free agent this summer, and contract talks between Bobrovsky and the Blue Jackets haven’t made any progress, according to Kekalainen.
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.