Although the Pittsburgh Penguins failed to live up to expectations in the 2014 playoffs, at least this time goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury escaped relatively unscathed. Before the 2013-14 campaign, Fleury had struggled in the Penguins’ recent postseason runs, which put his status as the team’s long-term starter into question.
It looks like his solid playoff showing hasn’t put that matter to rest though. New Penguins GM Jim Rutherford has defended Fleury and sees him as someone that could play between the pipes in Pittsburgh for years to come, but will he re-sign Fleury before he becomes an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2015? It seems we won’t know the answer any time soon.
“I’m not in a hurry to do a contract with him,” Rutherford told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. In fact, the 29-year-old goaltender’s contract status isn’t likely to be resolved before the start of the season.
That’s fine by Fleury’s agent, Allan Walsh.
“We’re actually on the same page,” Walsh said. “It’s of no consequence at all.”
He added that Fleury wants to spend the rest of his career in Pittsburgh.
Rutherford: Mental game used to be difficult for Fleury, but he’s improved
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.