After a season filled with nagging injuries, Ben Bishop is going under the knife.
On Thursday, the Tampa Bay goalie said he’d be undergoing offseason wrist surgery to repair ligament damage, a procedure that will keep him in a cast for six weeks with a 3-4 month rehabilitation timeframe.
“My golf game is going to suffer,” Bishop joked, per the Tampa Bay Times.
The wrist ailment doesn’t appear to be related to the elbow dislocation that knocked Bishop out of Tampa’s opening-round playoff sweep to Montreal. The NHL’s tallest netminder was dealing with a wrist problem back in February but played through the pain, according to the Tampa Tribune.
“(The wrist) hasn’t been great,” Bishop said, coming out of the Olympic break.”But I just want to give the team a chance to win every night, even if I’m not 100 percent.’’
Today, Bishop told the Times he’s “100 percent” confident he’ll be ready for training camp in the fall.
That’s important, because next year promises to be a huge one for both Bishop and the Bolts. He put forth a Vezina-caliber effort this year, going 37-14-7 (4th in the NHL in wins) with a 2.23 GAA (7th), .924 save percentage (7th) and five shutouts (5th). Looking ahead, it’ll be interesting to see if Bishop is named one of the three Vezina finalists, and if he can build on this year’s success — next year, he’s in the last of his two-year, $4.6 million deal with Tampa Bay.
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.