After clearing waivers today, Flames forward and 16-year NHL veteran Craig Conroy is reportedly set to announce his retirement from the NHL tomorrow. According to the Toronto Sun, Conroy is going to speak with his family about whether he should accept a demotion to AHL Abbotsford to keep playing hockey or just hang up his skates and call it a career.
Conroy’s been a healthy scratch for Calgary since the middle of December as he hasn’t played since December 20th. For Conroy, his return to the Flames lineup this season was a surprise as he started off the season on a minor-league tryout and won his way back to the NHL with help from injuries to numerous Flames centers.
Conroy, a native of Potsdam, NY and a graduate from Clarkson University has had a strong career playing in 1,009 games totaling 182 goals and 360 assists over those 16 seasons as a member of the Flames, Kings, Blues, and Canadiens. He blossomed into a depth set-up man as a member of the Flames in the early part of the 2000s and was a strong performer on their Stanley Cup finalist team in 2003-2004.
Always likable and always a hit with the press, Conroy will be remembered as one of the good guys in the game that did well to stick around and be a solid contributor. If this is it for Conroy, fans in Calgary will be sad to see him go as he was always the loyal soldier for the Flames even in his final couple seasons and was instrumental in helping their younger players find their way on the NHL level.
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.