Ed Snider

Snider: Flyers are ‘better, no question about it’


After introducing his club’s three big free agent acquisitions — Vincent Lecavalier, Mark Streit and Ray Emery — Flyers owner Ed Snider talked up his team’s chances for next season.

“I go into every season optimistic and excited,” Snider said, as per CSN Philadelphia. “But this is very unique, to have three outstanding players on the podium at the same time that we recently signed. You don’t add three terrific players like that without getting better.

“We’re better, no question about it.”

In Lecavalier and Streit, the Flyers got some veteran leadership — both were captains last year in Tampa Bay and on Long Island, respectively — and depth at both center and defense.

“Adding Vinny,” Flyers GM Paul Holmgren explained, “I said this, we have Claude [Giroux], we have a couple young centers, we have Max [Talbot] that can play center, and Matt Read.

“Depth at center is huge.”

On defense, Streit is one of the 10 (yes, 10) Philadelphia blueliners signed on for next year, though one of those — Chris Pronger — will be put on long-term injured reserve.

That leaves the other nine — Streit, Kimmo Timonen, Graydon Coburn, Andrej Meszaros, Luke Schenn, Nicklas Grossmann, Erik Gustafsson, Bruno Gervais and Marc-Andre Bourdon — to battle it out for playing time (or, possibly, getting shipped out of town altogether.)

In Emery, the Flyers got a goalie that posted a 17-1-0 record last season, combining with Corey Crawford to win the Jennings Trophy in Chicago.

“All he does is win,” Holmgren said of Emery, who expects to platoon with Steve Mason in goal next season.

All in all, the Flyers sounded very confident that last year’s disappointment — a 10th-place finish in the Eastern Conference — won’t carry over to 2013-14.

“I feel better than I have in years,” Snider said. “I feel very good about this team.”

Sens demote former first-rounder Puempel

Matt Puempel
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Looks like Matt Puempel won’t be making the leap after all.

Puempel, the subject of Ottawa’s “looking to make the leap” profile during our Team of the Day series, has been sent down to AHL Binghamton one day prior to the Sens’ opener against Buffalo.

Puempel, taken by Ottawa in the first round (24th overall) at the ’11 draft, made his big-league debut last season and looked as though he’d stick around — only to suffer a high ankle sprain after 13 games, and miss the rest of the season.

The 22-year-old came into this year’s camp looking to secure a full-time position at the big league level, but was beaten out by Shane Prince for the final forward spot on the roster.

To be fair, contract status probably played a role. Prince would’ve had to clear waivers to get down to Bingo, whereas Puempel didn’t.

A former 30-goal scorer in the American League, Puempel is expected to get another look with Ottawa this season.

Report: Torres won’t appeal 41-game suspension


Sounds like Raffi Torres is accepting his punishment.

Per Sportsnet, Torres won’t appeal his 41-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The report comes just days after the NHL’s Department of Player Safety levied one of the longest disciplinary rulings in league history, citing both the severity of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ lengthy history of suspensions, fines and warnings.

There was some thought, however, that Torres would try to challenge the ruling.


He does have a history of success in that department. In 2012,Torres successfully appealed his suspension for a headshot on Chicago’s Marian Hossa, and had his punishment reduced from 25 games to 21.

Torres also isn’t considered a “repeat offender” under the current collective bargaining agreement, as his last suspension came in 2013.

Of course, part of that clean record is due to the fact he hasn’t played much. Torres has largely been sidelined by injury for the last two seasons, missing all of last year with knee problems.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman delved further into the repeat offender thing in his latest 30 Thoughts column:

If you read the relevant sections of the CBA, the league takes the position that the repeat offender status is only applicable to fines. Repeaters are fined on a per-game basis, non-repeaters on a per-day basis. (The former is more expensive, because there are fewer games than days in an NHL season.) However, if you go to Section 18.2, among the factors taken into account are, “the status of the offender and, specifically, whether the Player has a history of being subject to Supplementary Discipline for On-Ice Conduct.”

So, in the NHL’s view, a player’s history is relevant, even if longer than 18 months ago.

Should the report prove accurate and Torres doesn’t appeal, he will be eligible to return to action on Jan. 14, when the Sharks take on the Oilers.