Goalie Ryan Miller of the United States looks on during warm ups against the ice hockey men's preliminary game between Canada and USA on day 10 of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics at Canada Hockey Place on February 21, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada.
(February 20, 2010 - Source: Harry How/Getty Images North America)

U.S. to name Olympic team during Winter Classic


The American roster for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, will be unveiled during NBC’s Broadcast of the 2014 Winter Classic, USA Hockey announced on Monday.

The Winter Classic, to be held on Jan. 1 between the Red Wings and Maple Leafs at the Big House in Ann Arbor, will provide a tremendous background for what’s expected to be an exciting announcement. The Winter Olympics begin just five weeks after the Winter Classic, and Team USA is expected to bring three goals, eight defensemen and 14 forwards to Russia.

Today, U.S. GM David Poile met with media members and said that “approximately half” of the 2014 squad will be comprised of players that captured silver at the 2010 games in Vancouver.

In August, USA Hockey held an Olympic evaluation camp consisting of 48 invitees, 16 of whom represented America in Vancouver three years ago. They include: Zach Parise (Minnesota Wild), Ryan Miller (Buffalo Sabres), Jonathan Quick (Los Angeles Kings), Erik Johnson (Colorado Avalanche), Jack Johnson (Columbus Blue Jackets), Brooks Orpik (Pittsburgh Penguins) and Ryan Suter (Wild), David Backes (St. Louis Blues), Dustin Brown (Kings), Ryan Callahan (New York Rangers), Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks), Ryan Kesler (Vancouver Canucks), Phil Kessel (Toronto Maple Leafs), Joe Pavelski (San Jose Sharks), Bobby Ryan (Ottawa Senators) and Paul Stastny (Colorado Avalanche).

Add Lecavalier to list of expensive Flyers healthy scratches

Vincent Lecavalier
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Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?

While lineups are obviously subject to change, CSNPhilly.com notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.

Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.

That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench, and that’s only counting what the Flyers are paying Gagner.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”

The CSNPhilly.com quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.

Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.

It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.

Video: NHL drops hammer, suspends Torres for 41 games


One of the NHL’s most notorious hitters has been tagged by the league.

On Monday, the Department of Player Safety announced that San Jose forward Raffi Torres has been suspended 41 games — half of the regular season — for an illegal check to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The length of Torres’ suspension is a combination of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ history of delivering hits to the heads of opposing players, including Jordan Eberle, Jarret Stoll, Nate Prosser and Marian Hossa.

“Torres has repeatedly violated league playing rules,” the Department of Player Safety explained. “And has been sanctioned multiple times for similar infractions.”

The league also noted that Torres has been warned, fined, or suspended on nine occasions over the course of his career, “the majority of which have involved a hit to an opponent’s head.”

“Same player every year,” Ducks forward Ryan Kesler said following the hit on Silfverberg. “I played with the guy [in Vancouver]. He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”

As for what lies ahead, things could get interesting upon potential appeal:

Torres successfully appealed a suspension under the previous CBA, getting his punishment for the Hossa hit reduced from 25 to 21 games.

Under terms of the new CBA, Torres isn’t categorized as a repeat offender because his last suspension came in May of 2013 — more than two years ago.

Of course, part of the reason Torres hasn’t run afoul of the league in two years is because he’s barely played.

Knee injuries limited Torres to just 12 games in ’13-14, and he sat out last season entirely.