Report: Wild let Guillaume Latendresse walk


Montreal reporter L.A. Lariviere passes along word that the Minnesota Wild will let winger Guillaume Latendresse become an unrestricted free agent this summer. That news comes from Latendresse’s agent Pat Brisson.

That doesn’t guarantee he won’t be back in Minnesota, though. It might be a bit like how the Calgary Flames handled Blake Comeau; perhaps it’s a matter of saving money. (Latendresse registered a $2.5 million cap hit last season, after all.)

Though he doesn’t have quite the same ceiling, Latendresse’s path has some parallels to another guy hitting free agency: Peter Mueller. Both are a couple years removed from breakthrough seasons (Latendresse scored 25 goals and 37 points in 55 points with the Wild after being traded from the Montreal Canadiens in 2009-10). Each guy’s career took a huge hit because of concussion woes, yet their age – Latendresse is just 25 – makes them tantalizing reclamation projects.

Again, I’d guess that Mueller’s upside is a little higher, but both should provide some of the most interesting stories of this free agent summer. How many general managers are willing to weigh the risk of taking on a guy with a significant concussion history with the potential bargains that can come from getting a potential contributor for what’s likely to be a very cheap price?

Most directly: does he make any sense for your team?

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.