If you were going to cast your vote for Executive of the Year right now, you’d have to think that Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman would be a unanimous selection at this point. Ever the perfectionist, Yzerman continues to add to the Lightning roster, today signing former Kings defenseman Randy Jones.
We’ve talked enough here about the work Steve Yzerman’s done this off-season to reverse the culture in Tampa Bay and really change things around for the better and grabbing Jones to be a depth defenseman is a wise move. Jones is tough at times although turnover prone. Tampa Bay’s top four on defense is pretty much set with Mattias Ohlund, Victor Hedman, Pavel Kubina and Brett Clark. Jones joins a pack of three others battling it out for the final two spots in a group that includes Mike Lundin, Matt Lashoff, and Matt Smaby. Given Jones’ NHL track record he’s a safer choice for that third pairing than either of the other three guys.
On the upside for hilarity’s sake, with Randy Jones returning to the Eastern Conference, that gives us fans the chance to hear NESN’s Jack Edwards cackle at his expense four times this season. We’re pretty sure Edwards has it out for Jones after Jones’ dirty hit that set back Patrice Bergeron’s career.
Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp
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
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.