Calgary is letting the kids play on Friday night against the Islanders.
And we’re being quite literal with the “kids” part.
The Flames will have eight rookies in the lineup tonight — Sean Monahan, Joni Ortio, Joe Colborne, Markus Granlund, Max Reinhart, Corban Knight, Ben Hankowski and Tyler Wotherspoon — with the latter, Wotherspoon, making his NHL debut in the process.
Some interesting factoids on the lineup, per Flames PR man Sean Kelso:
Injuries and trades have forced Calgary into this scenario. Reto Berra and Lee Stempniak were sent packing at the deadline, while the likes of Karri Ramo, Curtis Glencross, Dennis Wideman and Jiri Hudler are all out with various ailments.
In addition to the rookies, Calgary will also ice the likes of Lance Bouma (23 years old), T.J. Brodie (23), Mikael Backlund (24) and Paul Byron (24).
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.