Ray Emery

Bettman expects ‘general discussion’ about fighting at GM meetings


Gary Bettman confirmed today what was already expected to be a topic at tomorrow’s general managers meetings — fighting.

But don’t worry, fight fans. The commissioner doesn’t expect any major changes to be forthcoming; only that the GMs will have a “general discussion” on the subject.

One sub-topic of the “general discussion” is sure to be goalie fights. And on that, Bettman shared an interesting anecdote about Flyers goalie Ray Emery, with whom he chatted last week at the White House (where Emery’s former team, the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks, were honored.)

“I said: ‘Oh, Ray. It’s good to see you. I’ve been thinking about you.’ We had a nice chat,” the commissioner said today in Toronto, per the Canadian Press. “And I said, ‘So just hypothetically, if there was a rule that said if you cross the red line to get into a fight with the other goaltender and you get a 10-game suspension, would you have done it?’ He goes, ‘What? Are you crazy?'”

That’s not to say an automatic 10-game suspension for goalies who cross the red line to fight is imminent, but it may well be discussed.

That said, Bettman suggested all this fighting talk is being blown out of proportion thanks to a couple of random incidents.

“We probably wouldn’t even be having the fighting discussion right now if there wasn’t a freak play with George Parros losing his balance and falling,” Bettman said. “Like the Emery-Holtby incident, those things don’t define the season we’re having. They’re important, we look at them, we discuss them, but they get more attention than they probably warrant in any particular case because we’re constantly monitoring the game.”

Related: ‘I hate what Ray Emery did,’ says Shanahan

It looks like Havlat won’t make Panthers

Martin Havlat
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As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.

Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.

While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.

It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.

One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.

Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.

Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.

Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?

Silfverberg is set to practice again after Torres hit

Jakob Silfverberg
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Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.

The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.

The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:

That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.

Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:

Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.

Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.