The Chicago Blackhawks added depth on their blue line and up front with a trio of signings that were announced Friday evening.
The Blackhawks agreed to terms on a two-year deal with forward Drew LeBlanc, who made his National Hockey League debut late in the 2013 season, and one-year deals with defensemen Theo Peckham and Michael Kostka.
LeBlanc concluded a five-year career with St. Cloud State, before joining the Blackhawks towards the end of the lockout-shortened season. He played his first NHL game with the Blackhawks on April 24. In two games with Chicago, he was a minus-three.
The Blackhawks also added two players with NHL experience to their organization, in Peckham and Kostka.
Peckham comes to Chicago with 160 games of NHL experience from his time with the Edmonton Oilers, from 2007 to 2013.
Kostka was previously in the Toronto Maple Leafs organization. He played in 35 games with the Maple Leafs this past season, but finished with a point-per-game clip in the American Hockey League with the Toronto Marlies.
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.
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: All that’s been announced about Silfverberg is that he’s under evaluation and will not return.