Report: Sabres permitted to interview Pens asst. GM Botterill

Jason Botterill, assistant to Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero, has been granted permission to interview for Buffalo’s vacant general manager gig, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Botterill, 37, is a former first-round pick (20th overall, 1994) that transitioned from an eight-year professional career to the front office in swift time, earning a masters of business admin degree from the University of Michigan and working at the NHL’s Central Registry before joining the Pens in 2007.

Praised for his cap management skills with Pittsburgh — the Pens have been able to retain almost all their high-priced stars — Botterill has ties to the Buffalo organization, having played for the organization from 2002-05. Botterill also has ties to Sabres senior adviser Ken Sawyer and president Ted Black, as Sawyer and Black both used to work in Pittsburgh.

Pat LaFontaine, named as Buffalo’s new president of hockey operations on Wednesday, said he already has a shortlist of candidates for the vacant GM gig.

Related: Who will LaFontaine hire as Buffalo’s next GM?

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

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.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

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.