When the Flyers acquired Wayne Simmonds this summer, the one guy that didn’t figure to see his playing time get affected by that was Scott Hartnell. After all, Simmonds came over as a right wing and Hartnell plays primarily on the left side. Things are changing in Philly, however, as the Flyers’ depth is giving Peter Laviolette reasons to tinker with the lineup all over the ice.
Simmonds has been taking Hartnell’s time on the power play and earning the right to help on the man advantage thanks to his aggressive play up front. For those hoping Hartnell can be a 25-30 goal-scorer again this season, you might want to change your focus on who to watch for the time being.
Laviolette says that the Flyers’ depth allows him to switch guys around and in and out of the special teams situations as needed. We’ve seen rookie Sean Couturier start the year killing penalties (with major praise from Laviolette), a role you generally don’t see 18 year-old players filling.
With the host of new faces in Philadelphia you knew there were going to be some different faces doing different things, but these sorts of changes are a bit much to wrap your head around to start the season. With the Flyers off to a great start going 2-0-0 including a shutout of the Devils on Saturday night, perhaps Laviolette is pulling the right strings.
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.