Brendan Mikkelson

Lightning’s Mikkelson inks in Swedish second division

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VIK Vasteras added yet another locked-out NHLer on Tuesday, agreeing to terms with Tampa Bay defenseman Brendan Mikkelson.

Mikkelson, 25, is the third player to sign with Vasteras during the work stoppage. St. Louis Blues winger Patrik Berglund joined in mid-September while Flames center Mikael Backlund latched on in early October.

Taken 31st overall by Anaheim at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Mikkelson struggled to get into the lineup with both the Ducks (who put him on waivers) and Flames (who traded him to the Lightning in January.)

Yet he found his niche upon arriving in Tampa, playing a career-high 41 games while averaging over 14 minutes a night — impressive enough for the Lightning to sign Mikkelson to a one-year, one-way deal in July.

As for the Vasteras signing…

The Allsvenskan adds yet another NHLer to the mix and continues to bring in the type of talent not normally seen at the tier two level.

Earlier today, Caps forward Marcus Johansson signed with BIK Karlskoga, joining the likes of Anze Kopitar, Jonathan Ericsson, Gabriel Landeskog, Matt Read, Carl Hagelin, Douglas Murray and Patric Hornqvist as locked-out players in the Swedish second division.

Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension

Torres hit
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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. For one thing, Torres is a repeat offender who 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.

Flames acquire Freddie Hamilton, brother of Dougie

Freddie Hamilton
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Roughly three months after acquiring Dougie Hamilton, the Calgary Flames have brought his brother on board too.

Freddie Hamilton was pried away from the Colorado Avalanche for the cost a 2016 conditional seventh-round draft pick, per the Avalanche’s website. The Flames announced that he will report to AHL Stockton.

Freddie, who is the older of the two at 23, is a center that excelled offensively in the OHL and has chipped in at the AHL level. However, he has just one point in 29 contests with Colorado and the San Jose Sharks.

This is obviously not a big trade, but perhaps Freddie will eventually become a solid member of the Flames’ supporting cast. If nothing else, it didn’t cost Calgary much to reunite the brothers. The duo previously played together with the Niagara IceDogs.