NASHVILLE, TN - JANUARY 9: Nick Bonino #13 of the Anaheim Ducks skates with the puck during a NHL game against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on January 9, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee.(Photo by Ronald C. Modra /Sports Imagery/ Getty Images)

Bonino shrugs off Kesler comparisons


How will the Canucks replace Ryan Kesler?

Of all the questions facing Vancouver’s hockey team leading into the 2014-15 NHL season, that may be the biggest one.

Currently, Nick Bonino is slotted into the second-line center spot that Kesler vacated when the former Selke Trophy winner was traded to Anaheim for Bonino, Luca Sbisa and the 24th overall pick in the 2014 draft.

“With Bonino coming in, he’s a really good player,” winger Daniel Sedin said, per the Vancouver Province.

“But replacing (Kesler)? That will be a team thing. We’re going to need guys playing on the PK more than they have before and offensively we need someone stepping up to score those goals.”

Kesler led the Canucks with 25 goals in 2013-14. He also logged 21:48 of ice time per game, second to only Sidney Crosby (21:58) among league forwards.

Management’s hope for Bonino is that he can score 20 goals, something he’s only done once (22 goals in 2013-14) in his NHL career.

“Obviously, there are going to be the comparisons,” said Bonino. “But my game is my game and I’m not going to try and do what someone else did.”

It looks like Havlat won’t make Panthers

Martin Havlat
Leave a comment

As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.

Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.

While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.

It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.

One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.

Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.

Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.

Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?

Silfverberg is set to practice again after Torres hit

Jakob Silfverberg
Leave a comment

Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.

The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.

The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:

That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.

Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:

Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.

Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.