Keith Ballard’s first goal came against his current landlord … Dan Cloutier?

It’s a rather specific fantasy, but I imagine it’s one that exists in the imaginations of hockey fans living in an apartment/townhouse/and so on: scoring a goal on your landlord. Maybe the man or woman ignores your desperate phone calls when your toilet overflows and no amount of plunging can save the day. Perhaps that person barely bats an eye when you gripe about the Volkswagen-sized insects inhabiting your living quarters.

Whatever the case, it’s probably one of the 5,078* different scenarios a person might imagine when in such an isolated incident of incitement.

* This number is in no way scientific and is in every way made up on the spot.

For Vancouver Canucks defenseman Keith Ballard, this unlikely event happened during his first career NHL goal. The Canucks’ official Web site captures the story of Ballard’s his first career goal – which was actually scored against the Canucks – as a member of the Phoenix Coyotes.

Ballard made his NHL debut in Vancouver, where he also notched his first goal and no doubt the emotions were high that day for the, then, 22 year-old.

“I was excited about that whole game. I was so nervous and so excited at the same time just to be playing and to have your first game that I don’t even remember how I felt. I know I was excited the whole day leading up to it.”

“I got a pass out of the corner Mike Johnson, I believe – current TSN analyst. I shot a little left on Dan Cloutier, who’s now my landlord.”

Someone, somewhere, is probably putting together a convoluted Photoshop that somehow combines the “Cloutier allowing a beach ball goal” meme with his new job as a landlord. I shudder to think of the possibilities.

Amazingly enough, the Canucks Web site actually has video of that first goal. Here it is in it’s not-quite-vintage glory.

Click here to read more stories of first ever goals for Canucks players, including Ballard, Mikael Samuelsson, Dan Hamhuis and Raffi Torres.

(H/T to Nucks Misconduct.)

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.