Online oddsmaker Bovada has released the odds on which forward will replace Canada’s Steve Stamkos at the Winter Olympics in Sochi — and it’s Stamkos’ running mate in Tampa Bay, Martin St. Louis, who tops the list.
St. Louis is listed at -400, followed by Carolina captain Eric Staal (+300), Philly captain Claude Giroux (+600) and Pittsburgh forward James Neal (+750). St. Louis represented Canada at the 2006 Winter Games in Turin and was on the team’s stand-by list in 2010.
The 38-year-old veteran has been on fire since first being omitted from the Canadian squad last month. St. Louis had eight goals and 15 points in 15 games during the month of January, highlighted by a four-goal performance against San Jose on Jan. 18.
Stamkos was ruled out of action yesterday after the Lightning’s medical staff declared his broken leg wasn’t fully healed. Hockey Canada has announced that Stamkos’ replacement will be named within the next 48 hours, and the team opens up the Olympic tournament on Feb. 13 with a game against Norway.
Poll: Who should replace Stamkos on Team Canada?
‘We feel for him’: Crosby reacts to fellow Canadian Stamkos missing out on Olympics
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.