He may have dropped a few spots in the NHL Draft selection, but it appears as though Seth Jones will begin the season with the Nashville Predators.
Jones, a defenseman from the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks and the No. 1-ranked North American skater coming into Sunday’s draft, was the fourth overall pick, going to the Predators.
Joshua Cooper of The Tennessean reported on Twitter Tuesday afternoon that Predators general manager David Poile indicated Jones will “likely start next season in Nashville.”
With Jones on the cusp of starting his NHL career, the Predators have also put defenseman Hal Gill on waivers, as per Cooper.
Gill, the 6’7″ blue liner, is 38 years old and has one more year remaining on his contract. He also comes with an annual cap hit of $2 million.
Poile also revealed that if he can’t trade pending restricted free agents Matt Halischuk and Jonathon Blum, he will not extend them qualifying offers.
As reported last week, Poile had been looking at trade possibilities for both players.
Halischuk is at the end of a standard, two-year contract worth $1.425 million, while Blum is at the end of a one-year deal worth $650,000.
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.