Updates on Tyler Johnson, Filip Forsberg, Raffi Torres, Jonas Gustavsson and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning forwards Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn are listed as day-to-day with undisclosed injuries. Other banged-up Bolts include Nikita Kucherov (lower body) and Cedric Paquette (left foot).
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Johnson spent much of the summer recuperating from a broken right wrist suffered during the Stanley Cup Final. No word if he’s re-injured that wrist or if it’s a different malady.
THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators hope winger Filip Forsberg avoids the dreaded sophomore slump. As a rookie in 2014-15, Forsberg was the Predators leading scorer.
TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins performance this season could hinge upon the health of defensemen Kris Letang and Olli Maatta. Both were sidelined last season by injuries.
CSNNE.COM: The Boston Bruins signed goaltender Jonas Gustavsson to a one-year, $700K contract. Gustavsson had attended Bruins training camp on a tryout offer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tuukka Rask will see the bulk of the starts this season for the Bruins, but they needed an experienced, reliable backup. Gustavsson should address that need while allowing promising Malcolm Subban another season to develop with their farm team.
TSN.CA: San Jose Sharks winger Raffi Torres faces a hearing today over his illegal hit to the head of Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg during a recent preseason game. Torres received a match penalty for the hit. He’s been suspended four times, most recently for a hit to the head of then-LA Kings center Jarret Stoll during the second round of the 2013 playoffs. In 2012, he received a 25-game suspension for an illegal hit on Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given Torres’ suspension history, I doubt he’ll only receive a handful of games for this. The only thing that might prevent him from receiving a serious punishment is Silfverberg wasn’t seriously injured on the play. If it were up to me, I’d ban him for life. He’s a reckless player, unwilling to change his style despite multiple, lengthy suspensions.
THE CANADIAN PRESS (VIA BRANDON SUN): In the midst of labor peace, the partnership between the NHL and NHLPA is going very well.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: One potential issue that could test that partnership is participation in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. If the league decides not to participate, they could face a player revolt. And of course, once we get within a year or two of the expiration of the current CBA, I expect we’ll start hearing the usual saber rattling from both sides on labor issues, like the recent loophole whereby players get the bulk of their annual salaries in bonuses, thus ensuring they have a measure of lockout protection.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The Blackhawks new Stanley Cup rings contain 355 diamonds set in a 14-karat white gold ring.