If you were to make a time capsule for Marian Gaborik’s career, Dec. 21, 2013 might just be it. In his return from an injury that claimed 17 games, Gaborik collected an assist on Saturday … and then suffered a broken collarbone. He’ll be out indefinitely.
The injury came thanks to a hit by Philadelphia Flyers tough guy Zac Rinaldo. Here’s video of the play:
The Columbus Blue Jackets have lost three game in a row and were likely just starting to look on the bright side, as Gaborik returned tonight and Nathan Horton was showing signs of actually playing for his new team. Now the offensively average (at best?) team must go without their 31-year-old catalyst for an unclear – but likely lengthy – amount of time.
It’s a big loss for Columbus and also for Slovakia, a mid-level Olympic team that could surely use his sniping.
Gaborik could stand to lose a lot of money, too, as he’s in a contract year that’s been borderline disastrous. It’s reasonable to ask if he’s seen his last bit of action in Columbus thanks to this awful bit of luck.
Update: At least Blue Jackets fans can take solace in a win: they topped the Flyers 6-3 tonight.
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.