On paper, the Colorado Avalanche have nine NHL-ready defensemen under contract already. That hurts RFA defenseman Tyson Barrie’s leverage quite a bit, but a strong finish to the 2013-14 season indicates that the Avs should ante up anyway.
After scoring eight points in 25 games from October through December, Barrie really took off once 2014 rolled around. He scored 30 of 38 points from last season once the calendar hit 2014 (and all 13 of his Avalanche defensemen-leading goals happened during that span).
The 2014 postseason seemed like an opportunity for Barrie to gain some mainstream recognition until Matt Cooke intervened, but Barrie told NHL.com that he hopes to only build on that strong finish, even if he lacks a new contract with Colorado as of this writing.
“It’s frustrating, but we’ve got such a good young team here,” Barrie said. “Hopefully I’ll be a part of it for a long time and we can make some noise in the playoffs in the future.”
At 23, it’s hard to deny the likelihood of Barrie making quite a bit more noise himself.
(H/T to The Score.)
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.