Patrick Kane

Does Chicago really only need to make minor tweaks this summer?


After being kicked out of the 2011 and 2012 playoffs in the first round, do the Chicago Blackhawks really only need to make minor changes to their roster? Steve Rosenbloom of the Chicago Tribune would argue that Chicago has to take significant action. In particular, they need to find a second line center that isn’t Patrick Kane.

Rosenbloom might not get his wish though, based on Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman’s recent statement.

“Some teams have six, seven holes they need to fill and they probably have a different task with a lot of uncertainty but for the most part we know what our roster is going to be with some minor tweaks here and there,” Bowman said.

Of course, that could be a little bit of gamesmanship on Bowman’s part. If he’s interested in making a major trade, it’s better to come off as apathetic than desperate.

Either way, Chicago could certainly stand to add another skilled forward to round out their top two lines. Their goaltending tandem of Corey Crawford and Ray Emery also leaves something to be desired, although it seems unlikely that they’ll change it before the start of the 2012-13 campaign.

Overall, Chicago already has a competitive team on paper. They do have a fair amount of depth and some younger players that might be ready to step up. It wouldn’t be a disaster if they had a quiet summer – but it wouldn’t exactly be desirable either.

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.