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Backstrom on concussion recovery: “It’s incredibly frustrating”


Noted Washington Capitals blog Japers’ Rink has unearthed (and translated!) an article from Swedish news outlet Aftonbladet about Nicklas Backstrom’s recovery from concussion.

Aftonbladet spoke with Backstrom — who hasn’t played since Jan. 3 after being hit in the head by then-Flames forward Rene Bourque — about his status, how he’s feeling and what the worst part of his recovery has been.

[Note: These are from an English translation of a piece that originally appeared in Swedish.]

— Backstrom’s listed as day-to-day (“as they say over here,” he noted) but hasn’t had much discussion with Washington brass about returning to the ice.

— He’d “be lying” if he said he’s feeling 100 percent, but claims he’s no longer suffering from headaches and nausea.

— Sounds like Backstrom’s been isolated from the team as he’s not even attending Caps home games at the Verizon Center, instead watching them from home.

That last note seems to have affected Backstrom more than anything.

“The only thing I can do is to just lie here on the couch and try to get better,” he said. “It’s incredibly frustrating, I get so restless, my body just itches to do something. But there’s nothing else to do but wait.”

Backstrom has 13G-29A-42PTS this season and is still Washington’s leading scorer despite missing the last seven games.

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.

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

Torres hit

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.