Joffrey Lupul

Carlyle-Lupul rough history is “water under the bridge”

A lot was being made of Randy Carlyle’s hiring in Toronto thanks to his shaky past with Joffrey Lupul in his days with the Anaheim Ducks. As Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun mentioned in his piece, Lupul’s time in Anaheim, for him, was filled with opportunities that Carlyle wouldn’t give him.

During today’s press conference in Montreal introducing Carlyle as the new head coach of the Maple Leafs, Carlyle was asked about his history with Lupul. Given that Lupul is one of the Leafs top scorers, it could’ve been a bad start if the two weren’t on the same page. Carlyle admits he made some mistakes.

“He felt that I didn’t use him correctly in Anaheim, and he’s right,” Carlyle said.

“I made a mistake of not using him as a left winger. That’s water under the bridge. I’ve talked to him about it and he’s a top-six forward on this team.”

That’s a hell of a way to make a first impression to the fans and media. Owning up to a past mistake, one that ultimately worked in the Leafs favor by getting to acquire Lupul last season, is a good way to kick things off especially after Ron Wilson was never one to fully own up to his errors.

Of course, the Leafs haven’t needed to motivate Lupul this season playing alongside Phil Kessel. Getting more from the rest of the roster, especially in goal, will be of vital importance if Toronto is to find a way into the postseason.

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.