Calgary Flames v Los Angeles Kings

Flames look to keep pending RFA’s Backlund, Brodie


The Calgary Flames will look to keep a quartet of pending restricted free agents, and, as Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun reports, the paper work had to be filed by Tuesday.

Here is a snippet of what Sportak wrote on Monday. Read the full version here.

The first order of business is the offer sheets to the RFA class which consists of centre Mikael Backlund and defencemen T.J. Brodie, Chris Butler and Mark Cundari from the NHL roster. (That said, all of that paperwork is likely already filed.)

All four of those players are seen as key parts going forward for the rebuilding club. In fact, all four will be expected to take a bigger role with the Flames next season.

Backlund and Brodie are two players the Flames would be smart to bring back, especially at this stage in the franchise.

Both are original draft picks of the Flames, having worked their way up through the American Hockey League ranks with the Abbotsford Heat, and are still in the early stages of their NHL careers.

Last season, Backlund, a 24-year-old center, contributed 16 points in 32 regular season games for Calgary. Brodie, a 23-year-old smooth-skating defenseman with huge offensive upside, had 14 points in 47 games.

The Flames had been busy in the days leading up to the NHL Draft.

Last week, the Flames picked up right winger David Jones and defenseman Shane O’Brien from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for Alex Tanguay and defenceman Cory Sarich.

It has also become evident that general manager Jay Feaster is trying desperately to trade forward Mike Cammalleri.

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.