Joffrey Lupul

Joffrey Lupul officially joins KHL’s last-place team


Joffrey Lupul has been given the green light to play for the KHL’s Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg despite some initial hurdles, according to R-Sport.

Lupul confirmed the signing on Tuesday, but he wasn’t eligible to join the KHL due to the rules the league implemented back in September.

In the end, Lupul will get to play in the KHL, but he’ll be joining a squad has no other NHL players and ranks dead last in the KHL with just 15 points in 23 games.

So why has Lupul agreed to play for such a dreadful team? No, it’s not because his tenure with the Toronto Maple Leafs has made him more sympathetic to their plight. The answer is actually pretty simple: Most of the good teams were taken.

As Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nikolai Kulemin recently pointed out to R-Sport, most of the top-tier teams have already reached their limit of three locked-out players. So for guys like Lupul that have waited to sign with a KHL squad, they’ll have to settle for one of the remaining openings.

Of course, regardless of what team Lupul is on, this signing will give him the opportunity to play in the KHL and shake off the rust so that he’s in a better position if the lockout ends in time to salvage the 2012-13 season.

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.