From TSN’s Bob McKenzie:
Handzus is 37 years old, so this should come as no surprise. Despite scoring the overtime winner in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final versus the Kings, he struggled to keep up with the pace of the postseason. The popular veteran forward was never really supposed to go into these playoffs as the Blackhawks’ second-line center, but that’s the way it happened.
So…will Chicago general manager Stan Bowman make a move to address the 2c spot (behind 1C Jonathan Toews)? Ryan Kesler and Jason Spezza are expected to be traded this summer; the former has two years left on his contract, the latter just one. But neither will come cheap, and the ‘Hawks don’t have a ton of cap space.
Bowman could always see if Andrew Shaw is up to task; the 22-year-old had success between Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad in the playoffs. But the ‘Hawks may prefer Shaw on the third line, in a more gritty role.
Yes, the ‘Hawks also have Teuvo Teravainen in the system; however, it’s far too early to slot him into a top-six role on a Stanley Cup contender. The 19-year-old may be better off spending next season in the AHL.
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.