Rick Wilson becomes the Minnesota Wild's new assistant head coach

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The Minnesota Wild added Rick Wilson to their coaching staff today, filling a gap left by departed assistant coach Mike Ramsey. Here is more from Glen Andersen of the Minnesota Wild’s Web site.

After a long, hurdle-ridden process, Wilson signed his contract in the Wild’s corporate offices today, his 60th birthday.

The Wild had several outstanding candidates for the vacant position, but none possessed as much experience as Wilson, who has coached in the NHL since 1988, and most recently was an associate coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning last year.

This will actually be Wilson’s second stint in Minnesota. He was an assistant for the North Stars during the 1992-93 season before relocating with the franchise to Dallas, where he won a Stanley Cup in 1999. Wilson was with the Stars for 16 years, which included seven division titles, two Western Conference championships and two President’s Trophies. He was also Dallas’ interim coach in 2002, when he led the club to a 13-11-7 mark.

Wilson’s expertise is working with defensemen, which was a priority in Head Coach Todd Richards’ search. Under Wilson’s guidance of the Dallas defensive corps, the club finished in the top three for fewest goals against in 2002-03, 2003-04, 2006-07 and 2007-08.

Wow, an assistant coach at the age of 60? I’m guessing he’s comfortable with the fact that he’s not likely to get more than an interim head coaching gig in the future, although you never really know.

It seems like a solid hire by the Wild, as the Stars’ worst years on defense seemed to come by the time he left the tea,.

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

Torres hit
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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. For one thing, Torres is a repeat offender who 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.

Flames acquire Freddie Hamilton, brother of Dougie

Freddie Hamilton
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Roughly three months after acquiring Dougie Hamilton, the Calgary Flames have brought his brother on board too.

Freddie Hamilton was pried away from the Colorado Avalanche for the cost a 2016 conditional seventh-round draft pick, per the Avalanche’s website. The Flames announced that he will report to AHL Stockton.

Freddie, who is the older of the two at 23, is a center that excelled offensively in the OHL and has chipped in at the AHL level. However, he has just one point in 29 contests with Colorado and the San Jose Sharks.

This is obviously not a big trade, but perhaps Freddie will eventually become a solid member of the Flames’ supporting cast. If nothing else, it didn’t cost Calgary much to reunite the brothers. The duo previously played together with the Niagara IceDogs.