Mike Cvik, Mike Commodore

Red Wings name Blashill, Peters as assistants; pressure builds for ‘Commodore 64’ to happen


Here’s a bit of news from the oft-interesting world of the Detroit Red Wings.

As we speculated earlier, one of them is Jeff Blashill. Blashill is the former head coach for Western Michigan and also coached the USHL’s Indiana Ice after assistant coaching stints with Miami of Ohio and Ferris State. Blashill called Friday an “emotional day” and stated that he is “excited for the opportunity to pursue a lifelong dream to coach in the NHL with the best organization in sports.”

Bill Peters will be the other Red Wings assistant. He spent three seasons with the Rockford Ice Hogs, the Chicago Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate. Peters compiled a 122-97-7-14 record in that time and also won a Memorial Cup with the Spokane Chiefs in 2007-08.

Puck Daddy promised to pledge $64 to Commodore’s favorite charity if he made the number change and encouraged others to do the same, raising a reported $3,456 (and counting?) if people stay true to their words and Commodore’s charity accepts the donations. Commodore discussed the possibility with Greg Wyshynski today.

About that decision: Commodore emailed us on Thursday to let us know a few things: His Twitter account was “blowing up” because of the campaign; he needs to talk to the Wings about the number, seeing as how he’s only spoken to Mike Babcock and Ken Holland so far and we doubt pop culture references to obsolete computers came up; and that he admitted “now there is pressure” on him to follow through.

This wouldn’t be the first time a professional athlete evokes video game nostalgia, but let’s hope that things end up better for Commodore than they did for troubled Cincinnati Bengals defensive back Adam “Pacman” Jones and marginalized Green Bay Packers safety Atari Bigby.

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.