Following his latest rant about officiating over the weekend, it was only a matter of time before Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella received a fine from the league. That came down today as the league announced that they’ve fined him $20K plus an additional conditional fine of $25K should there be another similar outburst between now and December 29th of this year which basically places him on press conference probation. The conditional element is a rather unique one but perhaps it’s justified as this is the twelfth time that Tortorella has been subject to discipline from the league – three suspensions and nine fines.
More from the Eastern Conference:
- The Senators appear to be getting one of their injured defensemen back for Thursday’s game against Florida. Postmedia’s Bruce Garrioch notes (Twitter link) that defenseman Nikita Zaitsev is likely to return after missing the last seven games due to a lower-body injury. However, Ron Hainsey is likely to miss at least another week. Meanwhile, netminder Anders Nilsson has resumed skating after being diagnosed with a concussion following his last start back on December 16th.
- Still with Ottawa, GM Pierre Dorion told Garrioch that they expect defense prospect Lassi Thomson to return to North America next season. Thomson was selected 19th overall by the Senators back in June out of Kelowna of the WHL but opted not to return there and instead returned to Ilves of the SM-liiga this season on loan. Thomson is currently at the World Juniors where he captains Team Finland and collected three assists through the opening round of the tournament.
- While Rangers defenseman Libor Hajek is a part of their future core on the back end, he hasn’t finished his time in the AHL just yet. Head coach David Quinn told reporters, including Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post, that the 21-year-old is likely going to be assigned to AHL Hartford once he’s cleared to return from his current knee injury that has held him out of the last dozen games. Hajek has at least resumed skating so his return may not be too far away.