‘Do you just take up space?’: McLellan rips Sharks after loss to Ducks

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Todd McLellan wasn’t mincing words following one of San Jose’s worst losses of the season.

“You have to look at yourself individually. I challenged to do that on the plane on the way home,” he said following a 6-3 defeat to Anaheim, per CSN Bay Area. “What do you do? What do you bring to the team? Moving forward, are you an energy guy, do you hit, do you block shots, or do you just take up space?

The comments came after Anaheim scored four times in a five-minute span between the second and third periods to break open a 2-2 tie. By the time the Sharks recovered, the score was 6-2 (Bracken Kearns scored to make it 6-3) and the club was left lamenting what went wrong.

Tyler Kennedy, who has been a healthy scratch this season, finished minus-3 on the night. Logan Couture went just 47 percent in the faceoff circle and Brent Burns, often relied upon to get the forecheck going and provide physicality, finished with just one hit. (McLellan has critiqued Burns’ play recently as well.)

In blasting the team, McLellan alluded to several players not understanding their roles. But it was interesting to hear how sharp a tone he took, especially since the Sharks had won four games prior to the Anaheim loss.

“We’ve got some guys right now that’s it’s been going on for a little while,” he said. “They need to perform a little bit better.”

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, 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 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.