Tampa Bay Lightning v Phoenix Coyotes

Coyotes strike arena naming deal with Gila River Casinos


Big changes in the desert — the Phoenix Coyotes have already been re-branded as the Arizona Coyotes and soon, Jobing.com Arena will become… the Gila River Arena.

On Wednesday, Coyotes CEO Anthony LeBlanc announced a nine-year partnership agreement with Gila River Casinos — the first “federally recognized Tribal naming rights deal with a sports venue that houses one of four major professional sports leagues in the country” — ending the building’s agreement with Jobing.com, which had been in place since 2006.

“On behalf of the entire Arizona Coyotes organization and IceArizona, we are thrilled to partner with Gila River Casinos and the Gila River Indian Community,” LeBlanc said in a statement. “Like the Coyotes, the Gila River Indian Community prides themselves on their commitment to business excellence and to their community.”

The Gila River deal still needs to be approved by Glendale City Council, which is set to occur on Sept. 9. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

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?