Sabres first-rounder Ristolainen says it’s NHL or Finland in 2013-14


The Buffalo Sabres might not have as much control over the development of first-round pick Rasmus Ristolainen as they expected, according to the Buffalo News.

The team seemed to be under the impression that the eighth overall selection of the 2013 NHL Draft was no longer under contract in Finland, opening up the option to either develop him in the AHL with the Rochester Americans or allow him to make an immediate jump to Buffalo. The 18-year-old indicates that isn’t the case, however.

“I think no,” Ristolainen said at development camp  on Wednesday. “I’ve got a contract with my hometown team.”

So, instead, it appears that he can play for TPS Turko in Finland for a third consecutive season if the Sabres decide he’s not ready for the NHL.

That’s a disappointment, as it would be surprising to see him advance so quickly, but this is dilemma is fairly common regarding European prospects.

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
Leave a comment

You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?