Thomas Vanek

Vanek enjoying Long Island, not ready to talk contract


Thomas Vanek’s time with the New York Islanders is starting to get better. The team has won six in a row and he’s been a big part of that of late.

Vanek, who’s due to become a free agent this summer, is enjoy his time on Long Island but he’s not ready to start thinking about a new contract just yet as Arthur Staple of Newsday shares.

“I’m sure we’ll talk, but I’m trying to stay out of it,” Vanek said. “Until something gets close, I need to focus on the games.”

Vanek’s seven-year, $50 million deal is coming to an end and at 29 years old, he’s in prime position to cash in big one more time.

Lately, he’s been on fire with 17 points in his past 12 games with five of those being goals. That kind of production will get everyone’s attention, especially when there’s a winning streak involved.

It’s easy to see why the Isles might want to talk extension. It’s also easy to see why Vanek might not want to do that at all right now.

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

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.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

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’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.