Daymond Langkow

Amazingly, Daymond Langkow might play for Flames on Friday

The Calgary Flames might not be officially eliminated from playoff contention, but after Wednesday’s tough loss to the Anaheim Ducks, they could already be in “moral victories” mode.

Call it a moral victory or not, but it doesn’t get much better – or more pleasantly surprising – as the probable return of center Daymond Langkow. There were many who justifiably wondered if he would ever play again after suffering a scary broken vertebra injury last season, yet it’s quite possible that he will play against the Calgary Flames on Friday.

Honestly, if this announcement was made on Friday itself instead of today, there might be reason to chalk it up to an April Fool’s Day prank. That’s how amazing his comeback really is; there’s always the chance that he would have been better off waiting until the 2011-12 season to be safe, but it would be great to see him play again.

Langkow hasn’t played in any games this season, but scored 37 points in 72 games in 2009-10 before suffering that terrible injury. He produced a 65 point campaign in 07-08 and a career-high 77 in 06-07, so the Flames have reason to be patient with him. He also has one year left on his contract. He’ll make $4.5 million next season.

It’s not a guarantee that Langkow will be back tomorrow night, so we’ll let you know if anything changes regarding that game. If he manages to play in Calgary’s final four games this season, it would be a great accomplishment – and a promising sign that he might be able to shoot for a Bill Masterton Trophy*-worthy year in 2011-12.

* This trophy is traditionally given to a player who overcame a personal tragedy or jarring injury to produce a great season, even if that might not be its technical definition.

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.