Pens’ Neal could face more than minor penalty for cross checking


Pittsburgh Penguins winger James Neal isn’t shy about using his size and strength, for better or worse. It’s a style that’s helped him score a ton of goals and be an impact power forward, but he’s been at risk of supplemental discipline plenty of times, and Thursday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings provides the latest potential example.

Neal received a two-minute minor for cross checking Red Wings forward Luke Glendening, but many believe that he could get a call from a league for that infraction. The Pensblog uploaded a GIF of the hit:


Neal, 26, just returned to action after missing two games with a concussion. He’s piled up quite a reputation with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety during his relatively short career, drawing three suspensions, including a significant five-game one in December 2013.

It seems like Glendening is OK, but PHT will keep an eye out for any injury updates/setbacks if appropriate.

We’ll see if that history factors into any decision the league makes, assuming there is supplemental discipline at all.

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.