Did Alex Burrows intentionally open the door on this hit?


Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun is asking readers about an incident from the Senators’ 2-1 overtime loss in Vancouver last night.

Midway through the first period, Canucks center Maxim Lapierre nailed Ottawa’s Jesse Winchester near the Vancouver bench.

It’s being alleged that Burrows purposely opened the door — the hockey equivalent of pulling the chair out from under someone when they’re about to sit.

“I don’t like it,” Garrioch wrote. “I think Burrows should be suspended. He won’t be, but he should be.”

As Yerdon mentioned in the Morning Skate, Winchester wasn’t pleased with the incident.

“It’s not a safe play,” said Winchester. “I was under the impression my butt was against the wall, the next thing I know I’m through the bench. I couldn’t see behind me, I’m not paying attention to what’s on the bench.”

Burrows offered a slightly different take.

“It was a line change and at the last minute he got hit pretty good there and the door wasn’t closed completely,” he explained to the Vancouver Province. “He’s a Montreal guy and one of my friends so it’s a good thing he didn’t get hurt on the play.”

It’s tough to judge intent, but also tough to ignore Burrows’ and Lapierre’s less-than-pristine reputations. Lapierre’s long been considered one of hockey’s dirtiest players while Burrows is best known for feuding with officials and eating Patrice Bergeron’s finger (this despite the fact he has more goals than Vincent Lecavalier over the last three years.)

They’re two of the big reasons why Vancouver is filed under “Hated, Most” in the NHL Teams Rolodex.

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

Torres hit
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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. For one thing, Torres is a repeat offender who 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
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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.