With an extra day in between Games 5 and 6, one couldn’t totally fault Martin Brodeur and Zach Parise if they started pondering their future beyond the 2012 playoffs. After all, a first round loss to the Florida Panthers might just increase the chances of one or both cornerstone players turning the page on their days with the New Jersey Devils. Tom Gulitti reports that both are focused on the more immediate future instead.
First, let’s start with Brodeur, whose playing future is as much in question as his days in a Devils uniform.
“Career-wise, I don’t feel it’s going to be the last of it, but I think opportunity-wise, you never know,” Brodeur said. “Regardless of what the future will bring me, that’s irrelevant for me right now.”
While Brodeur is aware this might be one of his last chances – if not the last chance – Parise has more control of his situation. At 27 years old, he’ll get to experience the sensation of being courted in the unrestricted free agent market – if he chooses. Yet like Brodeur, Parise isn’t elaborating much on those thoughts.
“It’s blocked out,” Parise said. “I don’t think about it. I don’t really want to talk about it.”
Perhaps both prominent players are just providing lip service, but the Devils really could face a golden opportunity for a deep run. Favorites are dropping like flies, so if they can win the next two games, anything can happen.
Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp
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
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.