Not official yet, but it sounds as though the New York Islanders are going to keep the fifth overall pick at this year’s draft and send their 2015 first-rounder — a potential lottery ticket to the Connor McDavid-Jack Eichel sweepstakes — to Buffalo as compensation for the Thomas Vanek trade.
Here’s Newsday’s Arthur Staple:
Indications are that the Islanders will hold onto this year’s pick to either select one of the five top prospects who are fairly equally rated, or trade the pick to acquire a more NHL-ready player.
And here’s SNY.tv, passing along a report from a Thursday night fan forum GM Garth Snow attended on Long Island:
Snow, Doug Weight and other Islanders were at Westbury Manor to meet with fans. According to Rob Del Muro, a producer for News 12 who was in attendance, Snow wouldn’t fully commit to retaining the 2014 pick but it seemed like it was a very likely scenario.
The Isles have until June 1 to notify the Sabres whether they’ll surrender this year’s pick, or defer to next year.
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.
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 CSNNE.com’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.