Mike Halford

Raffi Torres

‘If he’s healthy, he can help us’: Torres expected to join Sharks after suspension ends

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Raffi Torres has served 24 of the 41-game suspension he received for a preseason hit to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg — meaning that, at the time of writing, he’s roughly six weeks away from getting back into the San Jose lineup.

So long as he’s healthy, of course.

Per head coach Peter DeBoer, Torres is “still dealing a little bit with his injury from before.” That injury, you’ll recall, is Torres’ problematic right knee, specifically the surgically repaired ACL that’s undergone a variety of procedures over the last two years, and cost him all of the ’14-15 campaign.

More, from CSN Bay Area:

Torres is still eligible to return on Jan. 14 when the Sharks host former coach Todd McLellan and the Edmonton Oilers.

He is working out off the ice, and occasionally skates with his teammates for portions of practice or morning skates, but there’s still some uncertainty whether his surgically repaired knee will allow him to be an effective NHL player when the ban expires.

While Torres’ health is uncertain, San Jose’s plan for him is crystal clear. DeBoer said both he and GM Doug Wilson were on the same page for getting Torres back into the lineup once the suspension is over.

“Raffi is a guy that can help us,” DeBoer said. “If he’s healthy, he can help us. I don’t think Doug [Wilson] or I differ on that opinion.”

‘I disagree with the outcome,’ Hakstol says of Gudas suspension

Winnipeg Jets vs Philadelphia Flyers
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Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol doesn’t sound pleased about how long he’ll be without Radko Gudas‘ services.

Gudas — who, on Wednesday, was suspended for a headshot to Ottawa’s Mika Zibanejad — will be out of action for the next three games, missing this weekend’s back-to-backs against the Devils and Blue Jackets, as well a tilt next Tuesday at home against the Isles.

“I disagree with the outcome,” Hakstol said, per CSN Philly. “But it’s the league decision, respect it and move forward.”

The first-year bench boss wouldn’t elaborate on why he felt this way, only repeating that “I disagree, but we move forward.”

It’s worth pointing out that Hakstol uses Gudas quite a bit — nearly 21 minutes per night — and probably isn’t thrilled about losing his biggest physical presence.

Gudas leads the team in hits, with 118. The next closest is Wayne Simmonds, with 61.

Related: Gudas addresses suspension

 

 

 

Goalie nods: Reimer looks to re-establish form after three-game absence

James Reimer
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After Garret Sparks’ second career start went much, much worse than his first, the Maple Leafs will give James Reimer the start this evening when they take on the Wild in Minnesota.

Reimer, who’s missed the last three games with a lower-body injury, had been playing great prior to getting hurt — in November, he went 6-2-3 with a 1.68 GAA and .949 save percentage. He wrestled the No. 1 job away from Jonathan Bernier (who’s now in the midst of a stint with the AHL Marlies) and was a big reason why the Leafs won five of six from Nov. 10-20.

As for Sparks, his feel-good story hit a rough patch last night in a blowout 6-1 loss to the Jets. The rookie was on the hook for all six goals, a far cry from the shutout he posted against Edmonton earlier in the week in his NHL debut.

For the Wild, Devan Dubnyk will get the start in goal.

Elsewhere…

— The Avs are going back to Semyon Varlamov as they take on the Rangers at MSG. Varlamov hasn’t played since allowing four goals in a loss to the Islanders on Monday; Reto Berra played in Tuesday’s 2-1 win in New Jersey. No word yet on who starts for the Rangers.

— Battle of the backups in Carolina as Keith Kinkaid starts for the Devils, while Eddie Lack goes for the ‘Canes.

— It’s Braden Holtby (as per usual) for the Caps in Montreal, while the Habs counter with Mike Condon.

— No surprises in Ottawa, as the Sens continue to roll with Craig Anderson while the ‘Hawks start Corey Crawford.

Mike Smith will look to rebound after allowing four goals (granted, on 40 shots) in his last outing, a loss to Nashville. The Wings are going with Jimmy Howard after Petr Mrazek started the last two games.

— The red-hot Roberto Luongo (1.29 GAA, .952 save percentage over his current three-game winning streak) will go for Florida in Nashville. Pekka Rinne is likely for the Preds.

Ryan Miller will get the nod for Vancouver tonight when the Canucks host the Stars. No word yet on a Dallas starter.

Looks like the Steve Moses experiment is over in Nashville

Norway v USA - 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship

This summer, the Preds made some waves by signing KHL scoring sensation Steve Moses.

Well, those waves have subsided.

Considerably.

After failing to make the team out of training camp and not playing a single regular-season NHL contest, Moses has been placed on unconditional waivers, per Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. Unconditional waivers are usually a precursor to terminating a contract, which is why probably why Friedman suggested Moses will return to Russia.

Moses, 26, was undrafted out of New Hampshire and spent a short time in the AHL before heading to Europe. There, the 5-foot-9, 170-pound speedster emerged as a star, and set a KHL scoring record with 36 goals in 60 games last year.

He signed with Nashville this summer over a number of other suitors, in large part because the Preds offered a one-year, one-way, $1 million deal (which he eventually signed.)

The contract, however, gave no guarantees of sticking in Nashville — only the $1 million was guaranteed, regardless of where Moses played. The 26-year-old also didn’t require waivers to be sent to Milwaukee, where he’s scored eight points in 16 games this year.

For Moses, the writing was probably on the wall that his shot with the Preds wasn’t coming. He failed to earn a recall to Nashville this season while three other forwards — Colton Sissons, Cody Bass and Miikka Salomaki — all made the jump ahead of him.

Sabres announce Ennis (upper body), Pysyk (lower body) now out week-to-week

Buffalo Sabres v Carolina Hurricanes
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Not a great day for Buffalo on the injury update front.

On Thursday, head coach Dan Bylsma said that forward Tyler Ennis and d-man Mark Pysyk are now both out week-to-week with their upper- and lower-body injuries, respectively.

Ennis has been out of the lineup since Nov. 23, missing Buffalo’s last four games as a result. The former first-round pick was having a fairly decent year (for a Sabres club that’s struggled offensively), scoring 10 points in 19 games while averaging just under 19 minutes per night.

As for Pysyk, he’s been out of the lineup since mid-October, and has missed the last seven games. Like Ennis, he was a pretty regular fixture in the lineup to start the year, averaging over 16 minutes through the first 18 games.

With Pysyk out, the Sabres have been rolling of a defensive unit comprised of Zach Bogosian, Carlo Colaiacovo, Cody Franson, Josh Gorges, Jake McCabe and Rasmus Ristolainen.

Another injured d-man, Mike Weber, has been limited with a knee problem.