Peter Laviolette

Laviolette to coach U.S. at Worlds


USA Hockey has named ex-Flyers and ‘Canes bench boss Peter Laviolette as its head coach for the 2014 World Hockey Championships, to be played in Belarus from May 9-25.

Laviolette, 49, has extensive international experience, having served as an assistant to Dan Bylsma at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi — eight years earlier, Laviolette was the head man for the U.S. at the Winter Games in Torino.

He’ll be assisted by Nashville’s Phil Housley, Buffalo’s Joe Sacco and Don Granato, currently the head coach of the National Team Development Program.

The next few months promise to be interesting for Laviolette, as his name is likely to come up in relation to coaching changes throughout the NHL. Housley’s former head coach with the Preds, Barry Trotz, has already been relieved of his duties and there are rumblings changes could also happen in Vancouver (John Tortorella), Carolina (Kirk Muller) and Toronto (Randy Carlyle).

Laviolette was fired just three games into this season, after the Flyers got off to an 0-3-0 start.

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.