Letang Eberle

Eberle, Letang added to NHL All-Star Game roster


The NHL has announced its first two injury replacements for the 2012 NHL All-Star game in Ottawa.

Out: Minnesota forward Mikko Koivu and Winnipeg defenseman Dustin Byfuglien.

In: Edmonton forward Jordan Eberle and Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang.

The two newest players will add an infusion of youth to the ASG. Eberle, 21, leads the Oilers in goals, assists and points and will be making his NHL All-Star Game debut in Ottawa while Letang, 24, will be making his fourth appearance (two YoungStars/Rookie-Sophomore appearances, two ASGs).

Letang has 23 points in 25 games this season and is playing an average of 26:13 per game for the Penguins.

If you’re looking for potential objections to either of these replacements, look no further than the city of Philadelphia. Flyers fans (and coaches!) have been outspoken in saying Scott Hartnell is deserving of an All-Star spot…and to be honest, they’ve got a point. Hartnell is fifth in the NHL in goals, with 25, and leads the league with 13 power-play markers. Not to discredit the body of work Eberle’s put forth, of course.

On defense, it’s hard to argue with the Letang addition — if he’s healthy, he deserves to go — though Jason Garrison, who leads all defensemen with 13 goals, is a worthy candidate.

That said, both Hartnell and Garrison may still get a chance to go to Ottawa. Jamie Benn, Jonathan Toews and Ryan Suter (yes, even though he’s back tonight) are all dealing with injury issues and could potentially be held out of the All-Star festivities.

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.