Gary Bettman met with hockey press on Tuesday to address a wide variety of subjects, even if most of it seemed to be “business as usual” updates. Let’s rattle off some of the biggest talking points compiled from Bettman quotes via reporters such as ESPN’s Katie Strang and the Bergen Record’s Andrew Gross:
Update: If you want the full questions and answers rather than paraphrases, click here.
Hate shootouts? Bad news, although you probably shouldn’t be surprised if you’ve been following the NHL … since the beginning of the shootout’s use. Bettman said they’re here to stay and explains that fans like them (especially more than ties).
/Gives hardcore fans a moment to seethe.
Bettman gives a “wild guess” that the salary cap ceiling will fall somewhere between $69 to $70 million. There were some, including Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi, who had some concerns about the ceiling being affected by the Canadian dollar.
The NHL’s commissioner didn’t provide a ton of information about Charles Wang courting suitors for the New York Islanders, although he noted that they’re still Brooklyn-bound regardless.
Washington Capitals vs. ? in the 2015 Winter Classic
No answer yet:
Again, overall it sounds like the messages came down to business as usual. At least the salary cap update/guess indicates that business could be pretty strong during the offseason.
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.