Florida is set to host the 2015 National Hockey League Entry Draft, its first since 2001, according to the Miami Herald.
Per the Herald’s George Richards, Florida getting the draft was part of an agreement with the NHL, a return gesture toward Broward County for paying for the BB&T Center’s new scoreboard. Richards also reported the Panthers were promised a future All-Star Game as well (there won’t be one this year due to Olympic participation; Columbus has already been awarded the ’15 ASG.)
The last time the Florida hosted a draft was in 2001, as mentioned above. The event was held at BB&T — then known as the National Car Rental Center — and the Panthers selected Stephen Weiss with the fourth overall pick. Ilya Kovalchuk went No. 1 to Atlanta.
As for the ’15 Draft, OHL Erie scoring sensation Conor McDavid is projected to be the No. 1 overall selection. McDavid recently became the sixth 16-year-old to represent Canada at the World Juniors, joining the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Sidney Crosby, Jay Bouwmeester, Jason Spezza and Eric Lindros.
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.