Florida names Kelly, Morris as Gallant’s assistants


Florida has brought aboard a pair of assistants for new coach Gerard Gallant, hiring Mike Kelly and Mark Morris on Monday afternoon.

“We are pleased to welcome Mike and Mark to our coaching staff,” Panthers GM Dale Tallon said in a statement. “They bring to our club a wealth of hockey knowledge and experience and will be the perfect fit to work together with Gerard, John [Madden, the other assistant] and Robb [Tallas, goalie coach].”

The moves mean that Brian Skrudland, who served last year as an assistant coach, will return to his role as Flordia’s director of player development.

As for Kelly and Morris…the former has ties to Gallant, having coached with him in QMJHL Saint John and winning the Memorial Cup together in 2011. Kelly also has experience behind an NHL bench, having served as Alain Vigneault’s assistant in Vancouver for two seasons.

Morris is best known as the longtime head coach of the Kings’ AHL affiliate in Manchester. He parted ways with the organization in May after eight years on the job, and was lauded by L.A. GM Dean Lombardi for playing a key role in the development of a number of current Kings: Jonathan Quick, Trevor Lewis, Slava Voynov, Alec Martinez, Dwight King, Jake Muzzin, Jordan Nolan, Martin Jones, Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson all played for Morris in Manchester prior to debuting in L.A.

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?