PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Pierre LeBrun offers his picks for a Team Canada B squad. As you might imagine, there’s no shortage of talent. (ESPN.com)
Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $2,500 Fantasy Hockey league for Thursday’s NHL games. It’s $10 to join and first prize is $500. Starts Thursday at 7:00 p.m. ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.
The NHL has enjoyed a lot of success when it comes to packing arenas this season, even when compared to the NBA. (Puck Daddy)
There’s not many goaltenders that have enjoyed more success in shootouts than Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
Wayne Gretzky voiced his support of Steve Yzerman’s work as the general manager of Team Canada. (ESPN.com)
The Chicago Blackhawks have used Bryan Bickell sparingly as he struggles to find his way since returning from a knee injury. (Chicago Tribune)
Eric Staal will try to prove Team Canada wrong for leaving him off of the Olympic squad. (News & Observer)
Henrik Lundqvist has unveiled his mask for the NHL Stadium Series. The Rangers will play in Yankee Stadium, so naturally it features a few New York Yankees’ legends. (Lundqvist on Twitter)
Speaking of Lundqvist, here are the highlights from the New York Rangers’ 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks:
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.