Mike Santorelli was one of the few bright spots for the 2013-14 Vancouver Canucks. Before he hurt his shoulder in January and missed the rest of the season anyway.
Santorelli — signed by the Canucks for peanuts after a tough 2013 split between Florida and Winnipeg — finished with 10 goals and 18 assists in 49 games, his 28 points good for seventh in team scoring, despite all the time he missed.
Today, the pending unrestricted free agent was on TEAM 1040 radio in Vancouver (audio) and said he “100 percent” wants to be back with the Canucks.
Santorelli, 28, was born in Vancouver and said it was “surreal” and “exciting” to play for the team he grew up watching. Also, his shoulder “feels really good” and he’s hoping to be cleared for contact in the next week or two.
How much the Canucks want him back remains to be seen. Even if Ryan Kesler is traded, Vancouver will want to give youngsters like Bo Horvat and Nicklas Jensen an opportunity to make the club next season. And a Kesler trade may garner an NHL forward in return as well.
Santorelli’s versatility should help his cause, though. He’s a center that can play the wing, and if he “100 percent” wants to be in Vancouver, he’ll likely be reasonable during contract negotiations.
On Monday, Santorelli’s agent, JP Barry, said no progress had been made towards getting a new deal done.
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.