Columbus needs a butt-kicking, and Tortorella is just the man to do it

John Tortorella (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

With the Columbus Blue Jackets coming out of the gate with an 0-7-0 record, nobody should have been surprised that Todd Richards is now unemployed. Nor should anyone be surprised that John Tortorella jumped out of the unemployment line and replaced Richards behind the Columbus bench.

What, the same Tortorella who left that tire fire behind in Vancouver and with $10 million remaining on his contract with the Canucks? The same Tortorella who stubbornly tried to jam a square piece in a round hole with the Canucks, forcing them to play a defensive style that wasn’t suited to their personnel and resulted in them being unable to either score goals or defend? The same Tortorella, who by his own admission, deserved to be fired after one season with the Canucks?

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Lightning’s Hedman takes blame for injury on ‘clean hit’ from Stars’ Jamie Benn

Jared Clinton
Victor Hedman (Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

Tampa Bay Lightning star defenseman Victor Hedman was injured following a solid jolt from Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn, but no matter how upset the hit may have made Lightning fans, Hedman said the injury was his fault.

“I had my head down looking at the ice,” Hedman told media. “I have to make sure I keep my head up more and don’t put myself in that position. It was a clean hit, just a bang-bang play. But the most important thing is how I feel now and I feel great.”

Hedman, 24, missed the Lightning’s Saturday tilt after the hit from Benn with an undisclosed injury, but what appeared to be a potential concussion. The hit from Benn came while Hedman was searching for the puck in his skates after getting tied up with Stars defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka along the boards. Read more

Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman suffers apparent head injury

Jared Clinton
Victor Hedman (Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

Tampa Bay’s star blueliner Victor Hedman left Thursday’s game against the Dallas Stars with what appears to be a head injury.

With less than five minutes remaining in the second period, Hedman took a lead pass and skated into the Dallas zone. Hedman had gotten tangled up along the boards with Dallas defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka when Stars captain Jamie Benn skated in and crunched Hedman along the boards.

As soon as the hit was delivered, Hedman dropped his stick and appeared to clutch his head: Read more

Lightning’s Nesterov gets major, misconduct for dangerous hit from behind on Stars’ McKenzie

Jared Clinton
Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 8.32.24 PM

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Nikita Nesterov could be well on his way to earning the regular season’s first suspension following a dangerous hit from behind on Dallas Stars left winger Curtis McKenzie.

In the second period of Tuesday’s game, McKenzie was turning back to pick up a pass from teammate Jason Demers when Nesterov closed the gap between he and the Stars winger. Upon reaching McKenzie, Nesterov didn’t let up and instead put a shoulder into McKenzie’s back. The result was an awful looking hit that left McKenzie writhing in pain on the ice: Read more

Eric Boulton will likely make a better hourly wage than John Tavares this season

Eric Boulton (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)

A post-Canadian Thanksgiving compendium of news and views for your dining and dancing pleasure:

* It’s good to be Eric Boulton these days. You’re 39 years old, whatever skills you had as a hockey player are clearly in decline, you’ve never scored more than six goals in a season and you haven’t played a playoff game in more than eight years, and yet there are still executives at the NHL level who are willing to offer you a contract.

In this case it was New York Islanders GM Garth Snow, who gave Boulton a one-way deal worth $575,000. It’s a deal that increases by $25,000 for every playoff round the Islanders win this season, playoff wins that will almost certainly be earned without Boulton ever seeing a minute of ice time. So if the Islanders win the Stanley Cup this season, Boulton will make $100,000 for being a good guy and working out with the scrubs.

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Prospect Need to Know: Kieffer Bellows is living up to his last name

Kieffer Bellows (photo courtesy Rena Laverty/USA Hockey)

Welcome back to the new iteration of The Hot List, now known as Prospect Need to Know. The NCAA season kicked off in earnest on the weekend and though I’d like a bit more of a sample size before handing out accolades, let it be known that Arizona prospect Maxim Letunov had a hat trick in his first game with UConn. And yes, Calgary Flames fans, Mark Jankowski is off to a hot start with Providence. There’s a lot of goodness to cover off this week, so let’s get right to it:

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Steven Stamkos scores 500th career point with rocket on the power play

Jared Clinton
Steven Stamkos (Photo by David E. Klutho /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)

When Steven Stamkos goes to the bargaining table to negotiate a new deal, he can add 500-point scorer to his resume.

During Monday’s matinee game between Stamkos’ Tampa Bay Lightning and the Boston Bruins, Stamkos scored one of his textbook goals. With the Bolts on the power play, Stamkos found his position at the top of the left wing circle, took a pass from Anton Stralman and ripped a one-timer past Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask: Read more