Benoit Pouliot, Jordan Caron

Benoit Pouliot totally saw the Canadiens’ collapse coming


The fall of the Montreal Canadiens this season was both startling and disappointing for fans in Quebec. One thing they won’t like hearing is that some saw it coming. What they’ll like even less is the person who saw disaster on the horizon the clearest was none other than former Hab Benoit Pouliot.

Pouliot tells D.J. Bean of WEEI’s Big Bad Blog that he knew the Canadiens’ fall from grace was coming because he saw what a mess it was first hand.

“For a guy that’s been there two years, I had seen it coming,” Pouliot said. “I think some of the other guys there would say the same thing. Just the way everything unfolded, and the way things were not only around the city but the team and everything, it was tough. It wasn’t good. Now they’re cleaning up, which is good for them. Honestly, they needed to, and we’ll see what they do.”

Nothing like kicking an ex-team when they’re down, eh?

The Habs dumped Perry Pearn, Jacques Martin, and now GM Pierre Gauthier all in the span of a season and it was Martin who coached Pouliot in Montreal. Martin is the same guy who said he lost faith in Pouliot thus leading to him finding his way out of town and on rival Boston’s roster.

Pouliot dumping on Montreal like this after they dumped out on him, perhaps legitimately so, makes for sweet revenge for the Bruins forward. Of course, Pouliot has to tread lightly as he’s had his ups and downs in Boston this year and I don’t know that many people will hammer Claude Julien for it. Leaving bridges not burned down might be in Pouliot’s best interest.

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.