For the first time, the Hurricanes have identified a first-line caliber winger to play with Eric Staal as their top priority.
General manager Jim Rutherford has declared that owner Peter Karmanos is willing to spend the money, and a not-too-subtle whispering campaign has identified New Jersey Devils captain Zach Parise as the No. 1 target.
Financially, this strategy makes an awful lot of sense for Carolina. Parise will be arguably the top free agent available come July 1 (depending on your feelings for Ryan Suter, of course) and few teams have the Hurricanes’ financial flexibility.
At the time of writing they have 18 players under contract for next year with almost $20 million in cap space — and don’t have to sort out Jeff Skinner’s next contract until 2014.
Just two questions: One, how much is Carolina willing to spend? And two, does Parise want any part of the ‘Canes?
Based on the contracts given to franchise cornerstones Eric Staal (seven years, $58 million) and Cam Ward (six years, $38 million), it seems Karmanos and Rutherford have no problem breaking out the checkbook — something they’d almost certainly have to do for Parise, who could be eyeballing that nine-year, $60 million deal Brad Richards signed with the Rangers last summer.
But will Parise make money his main priority? Other teams rumored to be interested include Minnesota (the hometown allure) and Detroit (the “being centered by Pavel Datsyuk or Henrik Zetterberg” allure).
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.