Forward Bryan Bickell could be forgiven if the Chicago Blackhawks’ 2010 Stanley Cup victory left him feeling less than fulfilled. He was just starting to find his footing in the NHL at that time, so he was limited to 16 regular season contests and four playoff games with Chicago during that run.
As a result, Bickell wasn’t one of the players that got his name on the Stanley Cup in 2010.
“From being a part of that 2010 team and having everything but that one thing, that stuck in my head for a while,” Bickell told CSN Chicago. “It just pushed me even more to get my name on it.”
This time around, there was no question that Bickell was playing an important role with Chicago. He was solid in the regular season, but found another level in the playoffs with nine goals and 17 points in 23 games.
That’s been part of an amazing summer for the 27-year-old with him getting married and going from a three-year, $1.63 million contract to his new four-year, $16 million agreement.
“This summer’s going to be one to remember, from the Cup to a wedding to a new contract,” Bickell said. “I’m just happy to be a part of it.”
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.