2014 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship - East Regional

Flames recall Billins, sign Van Brabant (who brings ‘proper levels of truculence’)


If Saturday proves anything, it’s that Calgary Flames exec/interim GM Brian Burke is still running with that “truculence” meme.

The Flames recalled Chad Billins and signed free agent Bryce Van Brabant to an entry-level contract today. Burke rolled out some of his favorite buzzwords to the Calgary Sun’s Wes Gilbertson regarding Van Brabant (pictured wearing No. 12 in this post’s main photo).

“He plays Brian Burke hockey,” Burke said of the 22-year-old forward. “A big, hard-nosed, heavy player. He plays heavy hockey.”

” … He’s got proper levels of truculence. We’re going to see what he can do.”

(One almost anticipates that Burke wanted to say, “And he can sure spell intense.”)

While Van Brabant is a rugged forward, Billins is an under-sized scoring defenseman, as the Canadian Press’ Stephen Whyno notes.

He’s not the only Flames youngster who is drawing attention despite a lack of size, either. The Calgary Sun shares a great piece regarding Martin St. Louis’ advice to prospect Johnny Gaudreau.

“It’s all about speed. Size doesn’t matter. It’s all about speed,” St. Louis said.

As the Denver Post’s Adrian Dater notes, Saturday went pretty well for Gaudreau and Boston College.

But the question is … will Gaudreau and Billins prove truculent enough?

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: Bullet dodged?