Kyle Wellwood

Blues officially sign Kyle Wellwood out of KHL

The long rumored and awaited signing of former Canucks and Maple Leafs forward Kyle Wellwood has finally happened. St. Louis finally got Wellwood inked to a contract, a one-year deal for what’s believed to be a pro-rated $650,00. Wellwood will now be on waivers for the next 24 hours as he’s coming back to the NHL from playing in Europe.

Wellwood tried out with Phoenix during the preseason but didn’t make the cut for Dave Tippett’s team. Wellwood then signed with Mystishchi Atlant of the KHL. There he scored five goals and had three assists before getting out of his contract to return to North America to be with his family. Wellwood can be a very serviceable player as a center with his ability to win faceoffs and he’s got some offensive skills. Right now the Blues can use every little bit of help they can get as they’ve slipped down in the Western Conference standings.

Whether or not the Blues get burned by waivers will be the true drama for them. They had their plans of keeping Marek Svatos foiled by Nashville when they claimed him after the Blues signed the former Avalanche star and it’s possible that Nashville could do it to them all over again. The Predators have had health issues at center all year long and there’s no doubt they could use the, essentially, free help. With the relatively inexpensive and cap-friendly contract, anyone in need of an NHL experienced center could be a factor.

For now though, Wellwood as a Blue makes sense with the team still without T.J. Oshie and doing everything they can to stay in the playoff hunt in the West.

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. 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.

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.