With the first month of the NHL campaign already in the books, Cam Barker has decided to join Barys Astana of the Kontinental Hockey League, according to the team’s website and Yahoo!’s Dmitry Chesnokov.
Barker was originally taken with the third overall pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks, right after Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin. The 27-year-old defenseman has gone on to record 96 points and 290 penalty minutes in 310 games with the Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, Edmonton Oilers, and Vancouver Canucks.
At his height, Barker recorded 40 points in 68 games with Chicago in 2008-09. However, his playing time plummeted in the following campaign until Chicago dealt him to the Wild in Feb. 2010. He went on to play for three teams in his following three campaigns and recorded a total of nine points over 91 contests.
Barys is the only KHL team that’s located in Kazakhstan. They currently rank second in the Eastern Conference with 52 points in 23 games.
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.