When Islanders forward Trevor Gillies made his mark on the NHL season last year, it was done at the expense of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the middle of an on-ice fiasco back in February. In that game, Gillies delivered a brutal shot to the head of Eric Tangradi that left Tangradi knocked out cold on the ice.
The lasting image from that game saw Gillies standing at the doors as he was being sent off continuing to taunt and berate Tangradi. Those actions were followed up by a nine game suspension. Upon Gillies return from that he delivered a head shot to Cal Clutterbuck of the Minnesota Wild, a shot that earned Gillies a ten game ban.
After all of that and the negative PR associated with it, the Islanders and GM Garth Snow are giving Gillies another shot. New York re-signed Gillies to a one-year, two way contract that will see him either grow up and learn how to play physically the right way in the NHL or see him (most likely) stashed away in the AHL where he’ll wait his chance to make his mark on the NHL again.
The money isn’t known on Gillies’ deal but he made just $500,000 last season, the league minimum, when he was in the NHL. Gillies’ role in the NHL is to be intimidating and to be physical, but his reputation is now etched in stone as a guy who will deliver a dirty hit or a questionable hit to try and help his team.
Of course, our definitions of “help” may be different in how we see it and the Islanders see it. All eyes will be on him when he does suit up for the Islanders and any even slightly eyebrow-raising hit he delivers will be scrutinized. Let’s just hope that Gillies has learned from all the nonsense he unleashed last year and that the Islanders have a better idea of what they’re dealing with.
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.