Neal Auricchio

Assaulted Rangers fan was awarded a Purple Heart in Iraq


The Rangers fan who was attacked by a trio of Flyers fans following Monday’s Winter Classic is a former Marine that was awarded a Purple Heart in Iraq.

Neal Auricchio – currently a member of the Woodbridge Police Department in New Jersey – was shot in the leg while serving overseas, though that didn’t stop him from returning for a second tour. spoke with Auricchio’s father about his son’s condition following the assault.

“He got banged up pretty badly,” said Neal Auricchio Sr. “Stitches in the one eye, and the other eye is pretty puffed up. He went for a CAT scan today, and we’re waiting for the results on that.”

Just a little tip for any aspiring thugs out there – if you’re going to attack someone, you might want to avoid war heroes.

And police officers.

And especially war heroes that are also police officers.

Just a bad PR move.

PHT Morning Skate: NHL stars weigh in on McDavid

Connor McDavid
The Canadian Press via AP
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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Some of the NHL’s top players discuss Connor McDavid‘s potential and the hype surrounding him. (Toronto Sun)

While we’re on the subject, Wayne Gretzky recalls what it was like for him going into the NHL and what’s in store for McDavid. (Edmonton Sun)

Sam Gagner is about to start a key season in his career. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

It’s time for the Washington Capitals to make some tough calls, particularly when it comes to Derek Roy. (CSN Mid-Atlantic)

With Raffi Torres hearing scheduled for today, here’s a look back at his suspension history. (San Jose Mercury News)

The Chicago Blackhawks have gotten their championship rings. (

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.