Jaromir Jagr

Jagr, Elias highlight Czech Olympic invite list


The Czech Republic has released its “long list” for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia — and a pair of New Jersey veterans are front and center.

41-year-old Jaromir Jagr and 37-year-old Patrik Elias are two of the most prominent names on the 67-man list, which includes seven goalies, 22 defensemen and 38 forwards, according to IIHF.com.

The Czechs, gold medalists in 1998 and bronze medalists in 2006, boast a veteran-laden team with a strong NHL influence.

In goal, Tomas Vokoun, Michal Neuvirth and Ondrej Pavelec will battle for the No. 1 job — Vokoun carried the load in 2010, with Pavelec working as his backup and Czech Extraliga goalie Jakub Stepanek as the No. 3.

On defense, the Czechs feature a number of NHL vets: Marek Zidlicky, Zbynek Michalek, Roman Polak, Michal Rozsival, Jan Hedja, Radek Martinek and Ladislav Smid. It’s expected Tampa Bay youngster Radko Gudas and Detroit’s Jakub Kindl will also be in the mix, along with Washington’s Tomas Kundratek.

Up front is where the team boasts the most depth.

Jagr and Elias are joined by Martin Erat, Tomas Fleischmann, Michael Frolik, Martin Hanzal, Martin Havlat, Alex Hemsky, Jiri Hudler, David Krejci, Milan Michalek, Tomas Plekanec, Vinny Prospal, Vladimir Sobotka, Jiri Tlusty, Jakub Voracek and Radim Vrbata.

It’s possible that San Jose’s 2012 first-rounder, Tomas Hertl, could also be in the mix, along with Calgary youngster Roman Horak and Tampa Bay prospect Ondrej Palat.

For Czech Republic’s full 67-man invite list, click here.

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

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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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?