Radim Vrbata

Report: Five or six teams chasing Radim Vrbata


One of the sneakier pickups during free agency this summer could be Arizona Coyotes winger Radim Vrbata.

According to TSN’s Aaron Ward, five or six teams are hot after the 33-year-old Czech including the Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Montreal Canadiens, and San Jose Sharks.

The Bruins would make a lot of sense provided Jarome Iginla signs elsewhere and perhaps Vrbata’s presence could give a boost to fellow Czech David Krejci.

Seeing the Lightning on that list is curious because he spent 18 unspectacular games of the 2008-09 season with them after signing there as a free agent on July 1, 2008. A year later, he was dealt back to the Coyotes where he instantly recaptured his ability to score goals.

Vrbata had 20 goals and 51 points for the Coyotes last season. His point total was good for second on the team behind defenseman Keith Yandle. It was the right time for him to hit free agency as he could strike it big with a dearth of quality goal scorers available.

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

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.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

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.