Bryan Bickell

PHT Morning Skate: Back to reality


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.

Chicago’s Bryan Bickell is feeling mentally refreshed after the Olympic break and ready to show the team he can perform better. (ESPNChicago)

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $1,500 Fantasy Hockey league for Wednesday night’s NHL games. It’s just $10 to join and first prize is $350. Starts Wednesday at 7:30pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

Jets captain Andrew Ladd didn’t rise and shine early to watch Team Canada beat Sweden on Sunday. Here’s to hoping fans in Winnipeg don’t run him out of town for such insolence. (Winnipeg Sun)

Detroit forward Riley Sheahan, meanwhile, is taking great pride in seeing Canada win gold. (Detroit Free Press)

FYI: The NHL roster freeze was lifted at 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday night. Gird your loins for the season of rumors like this one yesterday.

Flyers prospect Scott Laughton is having a monster year in junior hockey and had another hat trick last night. (Buzzing The Net)

We know you’re already thinking ahead to what Olympic rosters could look like in 2018, right? How about this look at what Team Canada might bring to Pyeongchang. (Toronto Sun)

Curious note: The New Jersey Devils moved goalie Maxime Clermont from their ECHL team to the AHL. The Albany Devils already have two healthy goalies and don’t play again until the weekend. Unless there’s an injury that’s unknown, all eyes belong on Martin Brodeur. (Albany Times Union)

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.