Waddell: No coaching change this season

Not every decision Don Waddell has made has been a good one. He’s in a
tough situation in Atlanta, but his inability to hold on to his top
players has to be alarming. He certainly tried his best with Ilya
Kovalchuk, and not every situation was his fault. His decision to not
make a coaching change before the end of the season, despite the
Thrashers most likely falling out out of the playoff hunt with a
six-game losing streak,
is one of his better ones.

Q. Will you make a coaching change between now and the end of the

A. No.

Q. Will that be something you would look at as part of the
end-of-year evaluation?

A. I think everything has to be evaluated. Obviously, if we don’t get
to where we want to be all positions need to be evaluated. It’s part of
the business. We all want to win and have success and make the playoffs
and if we don’t reach our goals that we feel were  attainable you have
to look at every avenue in the organization.

Too many times teams are quick to make coaching changes as they fight
the quest to win as soon as possible. It works for some teams — the
Penguins come to mind — but generally mid-season changes don’t so much
for an immediate change.

John Anderson is a good coach who has had incredible success at the
AHL level. He deserves to have the chance to not only continue to build
the team with Waddell, and at least deserves a shot to finish the
season. That is, of course, if Waddell and Anderson are still in Atlanta
next season.

Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp

Mathew Barzal
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It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.

Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.

He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.

Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.

The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension

Torres hit

What will Raffi Torres get this time?

The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.

It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.

Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.

You can see the hit below:

And here it is slowed down:

Torres got a match penalty and Silfverberg left the game. Fortunately, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have returned, but was kept out for precautionary reasons.