Dallas signs d-man Connauton: three years, $2.05 million


The Dallas Stars have signed defenseman Kevin Connauton to a three-year deal that will keep him in Texas until 2016.

Connauton, 23, will spent 2013-14 on a two-way deal worth $600,000 at the NHL level and $100,000 in the AHL. The final two years of his deal are both one-way, and will pay him $650,000 in year two and $800,000 in year three.

(So, $2.05 million at the NHL level, assuming he spends all three years in Dallas.)

Acquired from Vancouver in the Derek Roy trade, Connauton split last season between AHL Chicago and Texas, leading the Stars in postseason scoring.

In 2012, he was named to the AHL All-Star Game and won the hardest shot competition at the skills competition, with a 99.4mph blast.

Connauton was originally Vancouver’s third-round pick at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, but has yet to make his NHL debut.

(Image courtesy

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’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.