Canadian Olympic women's team goalie Shannon Szabados practices with the Edmonton Oilers NHL hockey team in Edmonton, Alberta, Wednesday, March 5, 2014. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jason Franson)

Gold medal goalie Shannon Szabados signs with men’s pro team


After leading Team Canada to a gold medal in the 2014 Winter Olympics, goalie Shannon Szabados is looking to continue her hockey career with the Columbus Cottonmouths of the Southern Professional Hockey League.

Szabados, who will become the first woman to play in the league, had a 0.96 GAA and .954 save percentage for Canada in the Olympics and played in the gold medal game against the United States.

“I am very excited to get a world-class athlete that has competed and has faced high-pressured situations,” Columbus coach Jerome Bechard said, per the “Shannon has won at every level she has played, in women’s hockey or men’s hockey.”

Szabados, 27, has excelled in other men’s leagues and actually played with three members of the Cottonmouths last season when she led the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology to a championship. She was also the first woman to play in the Western Hockey League when she appeared in a game with the Tri-City Americans in 2002-03.

When the Edmonton Oilers were recently short a goaltender because they had traded away Ilya Bryzgalov and Viktor Fasth hadn’t arrived, they asked Szabados to practice with them.

“Maybe (we took it easy) the first couple of shots, then you find out that she’s good enough to handle it,” Oilers forward Taylor Hall told the Edmonton Sun. “She was good. She’s obviously not as big as some of the NHL goalies are now, but she can move around the net really well.

“She surprised me with a few of the saves she made. She easily held her own, it was fun to watch.”

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: All that’s been announced about Silfverberg is that he’s under evaluation and will not return.