PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Recently inked goaltender Joacim Eriksson is expected to compete with Eddie Lack for the backup gig in Vancouver. That’s assuming of course that the Canucks can trade Roberto Luongo this summer. (Vancouver Province)
The top 30 quotes of the year from Kings coach Darryl Sutter. (LA Kings Insider)
Did the Philadelphia Flyers make the right move by acquiring the rights to 35-year-old defenseman Mark Streit? (Philadelphia Inquirer)
The Detroit Red Wings have been fishing for a top-tier defenseman ever since Nicklas Lidstrom retired. So could they pursue Kris Letang? Helene St. James offers the argument against Detroit acquiring the Norris Trophy finalist. (Detroit Free Press)
Chicago Blackhawks forward Jamal Mayers hasn’t played yet in the 2013 postseason, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t contributed. (CSN Chicago)
Meanwhile, Boston Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton has also been serving as a healthy scratch during the Stanley Cup Final. However, at the age of 20, this run is more of a learning experience for him. (Toronto Star)
The Bakersfield Condors finished last in the ECHL in 2012-13, but they’re vowing to make the playoffs next season. That’s hardly an usual statement, but they’re backing it up with a free ticket promotion should they fail to meet their goal. (Bakersfieldcondors.com)
Highlights from Chicago’s 6-5 overtime win against Boston:
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.