To all those who were apoplectic at the NHL’s decision to give Phil Kessel nothing more than a preseason vacation as punishment for Sunday’s stick-swinging episode in Toronto, if it makes any difference, the guy Kessel attacked — or defended himself against, depending how you saw it — has no issue with it.
“I’m fine with it,” Sabres forward John Scott said, per the Buffalo News’ Mike Harrington. “It’s one of those things he’s just protecting himself.”
Not only was Scott accepting of the NHL’s ruling, he “was actually pretty apologetic” on the ice, according to Leafs forward David Clarkson, who, of course, left Toronto’s bench to protect Kessel, drawing an automatic 10-game suspension in the process.
Yesterday, Clarkson expressed regret for his actions in the melee.
And just to put a bow on this “everyone’s sorry about what happened” story, Kessel admitted that the second slash he gave Scott was “uncalled for.”
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.