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.
So far, the 2015-16 crop of rookies is living up to the hype, if not exceeding it. Connor McDavid‘s unfortunate injury hasn’t even derailed this year’s crop.
The Detroit Red Wings are watching their own blue chip blossom, as Dylan Larkin is making an instant impact.
No. 71 scored his 10th goal of the season against the Florida Panthers on Sunday, fattening his rookie goals lead.
He still needs five points to match rookie points leader Artemi Panarin, though.
There’s one thing we seem to know about Carey Price‘s injury situation: he first got hurt stepping on a puck on Oct. 29, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
Contrary to earlier reports about him missing about a month, it sounds like his window of recovery is still up in the air (which, to be fair, could mean that he’ll still miss about a month when it’s all said and done).
ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that Price underwent testing with Montreal’s team doctor on Saturday and is expected to go through more; we may not know more about his expected injury timeline until early this coming week.
So, basically, Price’s situation is fuzzier than his mustache right now.
Leg injuries can be tricky anyway, so we shouldn’t be too surprised that there are mixed signals regarding Price, and this may remain a fluid situation for some time.
(But we’ll hopefully know more soon enough.)
The Tampa Bay Lightning have plenty of time to rise above mediocrity, yet it still must be deserving to finish at .500 for two straight months.
After last night’s 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders, that’s exactly where they find themselves:
Record at the end of October: 5-5-2
Record at the end of November: 11-11-3
As of this writing, the Lightning found themselves on the outside looking in at the playoff picture. It all stands as a pretty tough thing for the reigning Eastern Conference champs to swallow.
The uncomfortable-yet-vital question is: can the Lightning break out of this funk?
Looking at their schedule, it won’t be easy, at least not right away.
They crawl through California during a three-game road trip to start December, and they also face six of eight on the road from Dec. 2 – 18.
The Lightning soak up home dates to finish 2015 after that, but what damage will be done by then?
Frankly, the Bolts will need to dig deep to break this pattern. If nothing else, they’ve fought with their backs against the wall before.
Sometimes a suspension will shame a player, or at least inspire him to change the way he plays.
That apparently won’t happen regarding Brandon Dubinsky‘s one-game timeout session for cross-checking Sidney Crosby.
Dubinsky told Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch that he won’t alter his style, whether it’s against Crosby or someone else.
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).