It appears the spectacle of the outdoor game in the National Hockey League will be reduced going forward.
This season, the NHL had six outdoor games scheduled, although that likely seems because of the lockout that disrupted the 2012-13 season, and led to the cancellation of the 2013 Winter Classic.
The latest in the outdoor series takes place Saturday, when the Anaheim Ducks and L.A. Kings at Dodger Stadium.
“There was an attitude to really just regain the pace and the momentum that we were at before the CBA issue,” NHL COO John Collins told the league’s website. “We have been able to do that.”
However, as per Nick Cotsonika of Yahoo Sports, Collins is quoted as saying the NHL will have “definitely less than six” outdoor games in 2014-15.
It is worth noting that, according to David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News, the San Jose Sharks are currently looking at three different sites for a possible outdoor game.
The series of outdoor games began on New Year’s Day, when the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Detroit Red Wings in the Winter Classic, which attracted more than 105,000 fans.
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.