Oilers tough guy Gazdic undergoes shoulder surgery, out six months


Luke Gazdic’s breakthrough campaign is ending on a sour note.

Gazdic, who made his NHL debut with Edmonton this season and went on to appear in 67 games, will be shut down for the remainder of the season after undergoing shoulder surgery, the club announced on Monday. The procedure and recovery will sideline Gazdic for six months, which could linger over to next year’s training camp and, quite possibly, the start of the regular season.

Gazdic, 24, has two goals and four points this year with a team-high 127 penalty minutes. He’s fought 15 times and showed no fear when it came to picking opponents, taking on the likes of Brian McGrattan, Milan Lucic and Kevin Westgarth — the latter being on the wrong end of Gazdic’s most memorable win of the year:

Gazdic is on a one-year, $635,000 deal with the Oilers that expires this July. It’ll be interesting to see if he showed enough to earn a new deal for next year, or if this shoulder ailment will come into effect.

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.