The U.S. Olympic team was put together by a committee of prominent American hockey minds, but the buck still stopped at Nashville Predators GM David Poile. Poile didn’t seem keen on wedging his own players onto the roster, which avoids controversy … unless it were to come from the Predators locker room.
Luckily, that doesn’t seem to be the case, as Seth Jones, Craig Smith and Colin Wilson told the Tennessean on Thursday.
“They put together a good team and I think they know what they’re doing,” Jones said. “I have no hard feelings, but there are a lot of good defensemen this year and I think they put together a solid team.”
Reports indicated that Jones, 19, generated early buzz as a potential surprise inclusion before fizzling out beginning in November.
The two forwards in question were probably longer shots all along, something that wasn’t lost on Wilson, 24.
“I think with the season I was having, I wasn’t exactly expecting to make anything,” Wilson said. “There’s a lot of really good American players who were putting up numbers this year, so I knew I wasn’t quite there.”
There are other Americans on the Preds’ roster, but the aforementioned threesome probably had the best chance to make it. Thankfully for Poile, it didn’t cause too much turmoil for those who didn’t make it.
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.