You may recall back in January when it was reported that the Winnipeg Jets were on the verge of moving their AHL affiliate from St. John’s, Newfoundland, to Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Well, not so fast. Yesterday, it was announced that the IceCaps will remain the Jets’ farm team through the 2015-16 season.
From the Winnipeg Free Press:
The extension in St. John’s will do two things for the Jets.
In the short term, it will give a boost to the AHL organization there, whose ticket sales were lagging with the reality of the team’s departure at the end of the season coming closer. Every AHL regular-season and playoff game at Mile One Centre, the team’s home, has been sold out since the Jets moved the franchise there.
The other matter for the Jets is it will let them see how things are going to shake out with the expected shift of several AHL franchises for the 2015-16 season. No agreement has been finalized, but a move is underway by west-coast-based NHL clubs to have their affiliates near the west coast and as many as six teams could be playing in an AHL Pacific division by next fall.
Meanwhile, for hockey fans in Newfoundland, as the St. John’s Telegram writes, the deal gives the IceCaps “more time to work a deal and cozy up with another NHL partner.”
Related: Report: AHL migration west could begin in 2015-16
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.
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?