Jaromir Jagr’s tenure with the New Jersey Devils got off to a rocky start, but fans likely won’t mind if he’s ready for the season opener. Right now, it looks like he might be able to do them one better.
Jagr practiced on Tuesday for the first time since Sept. 12 due to a hip/back injury he believes he sustained during his 15-hour flight to New Jersey on Sept. 9. With that out of the way, he’s starting to think about playing in a preseason contest.
“If I’m going to have a good practice tomorrow, maybe it would be a good idea to play against Philly (in Thursday’s preseason finale),” Jagr told the Bergen Record. “But you guys have got to talk to the coaches first and (GM) Lou (Lamoriello) is going to make the decision.”
It’s worth noting that Tuesday’s practice was lightly attended because players projected to participate in tonight’s preseason contest weren’t in attendance. He’ll skate with the team again on Wednesday when they have a full practice.
Even at the age of 41, Jagr is a solid top-six forward, but his health are an ongoing concern. Although he might still be available for the Devils’ season opener, this day-to-day ailment could unfortunately be a preview of things to come.
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.