Jamie Benn

Dallas’ Benn leaves German team, returns to North America

Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn has left the Hamburg Freezers of the German League, according to the team website.

As for the how and why, here’s a Google-translated statement from Hamburg GM Stephane Richer (aka “the other” Stephane Richer):

“Jamie has asked for a break to settle personal matters in North America. His request we have complied. Of course, he is one of our key players, but personal reasons enjoy priority for us.

“Jamie was in the jersey of the Hamburg Freezers shown outstanding performance and particularly in his first games took pressure from the other players.

“Should the lockout continue or fail the season complete, we expect Jamie back in January in Hamburg. For now, we give him now first time that he needs. “

Man, I love Google translate.

Benn leaving the German club is noteworthy as he took a huge gamble by playing overseas without an NHL contract. The restricted free agent was unable to come to terms with Dallas prior to the lockout, but still proceeded to sign with Hamburg in early October and play in 19 games (recording 20 points.)

It was a risk, but Benn’s situation unfolded in a much better fashion than that of fellow unsigned RFA Michael Del Zotto. The Rangers rearguard tweaked his back playing for Rapperswil-Jona of the Swiss league and exited the team after just nine games.

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.