An already tough season just got tougher for the Calgary Flames. Today, the club announced defenseman Mark Giordano has been placed on injured reserve with ruptured tendons in his leg. Giordano suffered the injury in Tuesday’s game against Nashville — there’s no timetable for his return and a second MRI will be performed in three weeks to re-evaluate the injury.
Giordano might not be well-known outside of Calgary, but he’s a wildly underrated defenseman and a key piece to the team. “Can’t underestimate the loss of Girodano to the Flames,” Vicki Hall of the Calgary Herald tweeted. “[He’s] their most valuable defenseman.”
Giordano’s value is tied to his offensive capabilities. Calgary gets minimal production from its blueline — Jay Bouwmeester’s offense has fallen off a cliff and last year’s second-leading blueline scorer, Anton Babchuck, has been banished to the press box. Giordano, meanwhile, had 43 points a season ago and is Calgary’s sixth-leading goalscorer this year.
His injury means that Cory Sarich will likely draw back into the Flames lineup. Now that’s an interesting development in itself, because Sarich recently demanded a trade out of Calgary after spending most of the season as a healthy scratch.
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.