Donald Fehr

Up to 300 players to attend NHLPA meetings this week


The NHLPA will be holding meetings Wednesday and Thursday in New York City and they’re going to need a bigger board room to hold everyone.

Kevin Allen of USA Today reports nearly 300 players will be in attendance for what might prove to be the final round of meetings ahead of a possible lockout. Jets defenseman Ron Hainsey tells Allen the meeting is vitally important to Donald Fehr and the players.

“If players have questions about what’s told to them, or about what happens going forward, it’s paramount that those questions get asked,” said Hainsey, a member of the NHLPA bargaining team.

One of the questions that could be floated out there is why hasn’t there been another counter proposal from the union? The NHL and its owners have cited the lack of response to their latest proposal as a reason talks have quieted down dramatically.

Perhaps with that many members in the room to discuss things some late progress can be made to counter the owners, but that could be a pipe dream. The two sides aren’t exchanging ideas and we appear headed for the sport’s third lockout since 1994-95.

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.