The Detroit Red Wings are making a number of phone calls trying to solve their No. 2 center situation, contacting three key free agents on Wednesday — Stephen Weiss, Mike Ribeiro and Matt Cullen.
According to MLive.com, Detroit contacted the trio on the assumption Valtteri Filppula won’t be back for 2013-14. The Finnish center hasn’t budged off his contractual demands (five to seven years, $5 million or more per season) and he’s fully expected to hit the open market on Friday.
As for the replacements Detroit has targeted…
— Ribeiro is the most productive of the three, scoring 49 points in 48 games last year, 11th-most in the NHL. Thing is, he’s 33 and looking for a five-year deal worth $5 million per, according to MLive.
— Weiss is younger (30) and a superior two-way player, but has health concerns. He missed 31 games last year with a wrist issue, and is looking for a deal similar to Ribeiro’s ask.
— Cullen is the oldest of the lot (36) but still had an effective 2013 campaign with Minnesota, scoring 27 points in 42 games. He has a ton of playoff experience and won a Stanley Cup with Carolina in 2006.
As for Filppula, MLive suggests potential landing spots of Tampa Bay (where former teammate Steve Yzerman is now the GM) or Columbus (where fellow Finn Jarmo Kekalainen is the new GM).
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.