Alex Tanguay

Out for a month, Tanguay set to rejoin Flames lineup

On the shelf with a neck injury since Dec. 20, Calgary winger Alex Tanguay will likely return to the lineup tonight against the San Jose Sharks.

“He slept well last night. He had a good breakfast this morning and he came to the rink and he was good this morning,” head coach Brent Sutter told the Flames website. “In all likelihood, he’ll play tonight.”

Tanguay’s missed the last 15 games with a neck injury that was  rumored to be a concussion. The 32-year-old told reporters it wasn’t, but failed to elaborate on exactly what the ailment was.

“I don’t want to elaborate on it too much,” Tanguay told the Calgary Herald. “But it’s a problem that I have with my neck. As far as I’m concerned, it’s been pretty frustrating throughout this whole process.

“But it is what it is. I haven’t been told I have a concussion, so that’s a good, positive sign.”

Sounds like Sutter will ease Tanguay back into the lineup with the hopes of working him back up to his usual 18-plus minutes per night. Tonight, the winger will play alongside Blair Jones and Tom Kostopoulos in what amounts to fourth-line duty.

“Conditioning is certainly going to be an issue when you miss a month,” Tanguay said. “For the most part, you don’t do a whole lot … but I’ve been working extremely hard.

“I know I’m going to have to work hard over the course of the break and over the course of the next few weeks but I’m hoping that I can use my experience to find a way to help the team.”

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.