Zdeno Chara

Chara, Hossa put friendship on hold


It’s a small hockey world. This year’s Stanley Cup Final features friends, countrymen, and former teammates playing against each other. Marian Hossa and Zdeno Chara are all three.

“It’s going to be really interesting,” Hossa admitted to the media. “Obviously we are good friends. He’s my neighbor. He lives right across the street.

“But this coming up two weeks, that has to go on the side and we just have to play the roles. I’m going to play my game, he’s going to play his game. I’m sure right after we’ll be friends again.”

Hossa and Chara are both natives of Slovakia and former members of the Ottawa Senators.

“Yeah, we know each other for many years, from back home,” Chara said. “Obviously we cannot ignore that we know each other, we know the families. But we all know that right now our jobs are play for our teams and compete and do whatever it takes to win games.”

While each player will certainly put his team first once the puck drops, they definitely have a lot of respect for the other’s accomplishments. Chara demonstrated that when he was asked about the fact that this is Hossa’s fourth trip to the Stanley Cup Final in just six years.

“I’ve been saying that for many years. He’s one of the best players in the league,” Chara said.

“He’s unbelievable,” Hossa said, referring to Chara. “He’s one of the best defensemen. We know it’s going to be battle against him, but we have to find a way somehow to deal with him.”

If nothing else, one of them will win their second Stanley Cup soon.


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Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

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.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

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.