Brad Staubitz, Cam Janssen

NHL suspends Brad Staubitz for preseason, three regular season games for hit from behind


It might take a season (or more) to tell if the NHL’s revamped disciplinary procedures actually deter dirty hits, but if nothing else, the league is being more vigilant in the preseason. Minnesota Wild forward Brad Staubitz is the latest player to receive a suspension while we await word regarding what will happen to Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman James Wisniewski, who was part of an incident in the same game.

The NHL suspended Staubitz for the remainder of the preseason as well as three regular season games for his hit from behind on Cody Bass on Sept. 23. The incident took place at the 4:24 mark of the third period of that game. Staubitz will lose $9,324.33 because of the games he will miss.

Staubitz already missed a Sept. 24 exhibition against the Pittsburgh Penguins as the league mulled over his punishment. He’ll sit out three other preseason games: Tuesday’s home game against St. Louis, another game against Columbus on Thursday and their final meaningless contest against Edmonton on Friday. Most importantly, he’ll miss the Wild’s season opener on Oct. 8 against (you guessed it) Columbus, an Oct. 10 match against the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum and an away game against Ottawa on Oct. 11.

Staubitz won’t be eligible to return to NHL action until the Wild host the Oilers on Oct. 13. Here’s head disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan’s explanation for the Staubitz suspension.

Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension

Torres hit
Leave a comment

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.

Flames acquire Freddie Hamilton, brother of Dougie

Freddie Hamilton
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Roughly three months after acquiring Dougie Hamilton, the Calgary Flames have brought his brother on board too.

Freddie Hamilton was pried away from the Colorado Avalanche for the cost a 2016 conditional seventh-round draft pick, per the Avalanche’s website. The Flames announced that he will report to AHL Stockton.

Freddie, who is the older of the two at 23, is a center that excelled offensively in the OHL and has chipped in at the AHL level. However, he has just one point in 29 contests with Colorado and the San Jose Sharks.

This is obviously not a big trade, but perhaps Freddie will eventually become a solid member of the Flames’ supporting cast. If nothing else, it didn’t cost Calgary much to reunite the brothers. The duo previously played together with the Niagara IceDogs.