Mike Santorelli

Leafs sign Santorelli: one year, $1.5 million


Toronto continued to add depth down the middle on Thursday — after acquiring Finnish center Petri Kontiola from the KHL, the Leafs signed former Canuck Mike Santorelli to a one-year, $1.5 million deal, per TSN.

Santorelli, 28, is an interesting case. He has two very good seasons on his resume: in 2010-11, he had 20 goals and 41 points in 82 games for Florida; last year, he had 10 goals and 28 points in 48 games for Vancouver before suffering a season-ending shoulder surgery.

Between those seasons, though, Santorelli’s had his struggles.

He fell out of favor in Florida following his breakout campaign and spent time with the club’s AHL affiliate in San Antonio before moving to Winnipeg, where he was equally ineffective — just one assist in 10 games for the Jets.

Brought into Vancouver last season on a modest one-year, $550,000 deal, Santorelli got off to a tremendous start — in early December he sat fourth in team scoring, with 21 points in 32 games, and the Rogers Arena faithful were chanting his name. Surgery in late January ended his year, though, and a new deal with the Canucks couldn’t be reached this summer despite the fact Santorelli, a Vancouver native, said he “100 percent” wanted to stick with the organization.

As mentioned above, Santorelli gives the Leafs more depth down the middle but can also play out wide if need be. Regardless of where he lines up, it sounds like Toronto won’t be looking for any more centers — or, to be accurate, one particular veteran center:

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?