Chris Stewart

Chris Stewart set to return to Avs lineup tomorrow night

While the Colorado Avalanche certainly might not need the added offense, they’re not about to turn down help when it comes to them. This season’s breakout sensation, power forward Chris Stewart, is apparently ready to come back after breaking his hand in a fight weeks ago.

Adrian Dater of The Denver Post tweets that Stewart skated on a line in practice today with Paul Stastny and David Jones and that he’ll be in the lineup tomorrow night against Minnesota. Also rejoining the Avs lineup is physical forward Cody McLeod. To make room on the roster for Stewart, the Avs waived forward Greg Mauldin.

Before Stewart was hurt, he had 11 goals and 14 assists through 23 games, so his return to the lineup will be welcomed while his presence was certainly missed. That said, the Avs problems of late haven’t had anything to do with their offense as they’ve been continuing to play well, but rather with the team’s defense. The hope is that with two starters returning to the forward lineup that perhaps pressure will be eased on a defensive unit and goaltending that’s been more than suspect of late.

Either that or the Avs will continue with the plan of outscoring everyone and hoping it all holds together.

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.