Hull Oates

Brett Hull on Ovechkin: “He’s going to thrive under Oates”


If anybody knows the value of Adam Oates, it’s Brett Hull.

When Hull became the third man in NHL history to score 80-plus goals in a single season (86 in 1990-91) it was Oates, his Hall of Fame center, who often played setup man.

So no surprise that Hull’s predicted great things now that Oates is coaching one of the NHL’s premier snipers — Alex Ovechkin.

“It’s crazy,” Hull told the Washington Post. “He’s going to thrive under Oates. There’s just no question.

“When I played, Adam was my coach. He told me what we were going to do, when we were going to do it, how we were going to do it and it always worked.”

The Blues legend suggested that Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom could become a modern-day version of Hull and Oates, who combined for over 600 points in nearly three full seasons together.

Such production would be a welcome development in Washington, especially after Ovechkin’s offensive output shrunk to a career-low 65 points last season.

“To me, the number one thing in being a great coach is being able to understand great players,” Hull explained. “When you’re a great player, like Adam, and have played with great players you understand them.

Hull wasn’t the only benefactor of Oates’ presence. Joe Juneau scored a career-high 32 goals in Oates’ first year in Boston — Juneau would never score more than 19 in a single season — and upon moving to Washington, Oates helped Peter Bondra score a career-high 52 goals in 1997-98.

As such, Hull sounded almost giddy about the prospect of what Oates will do with the Great 8.

“Alex Ovechkin is going to be like a kid in a candy store,” he said.

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.