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Umberger raves about hockey’s growth in Pennsylvania


With Penn State’s hockey program off to a solid start and “Team Pennsylvania 2003” showing off youth hockey in the area, it seems reasonable that R.J. Umberger is raving about the growth of hockey in “The Keystone State.”

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review caught up with “the first blue-chip hockey talent” from Western Pennsylvania to pick his brain about the progress that’s been made while he attended the Three Rivers Classic.*

“It has been special to see how things have changed, and I loved seeing the enthusiasm for the college games this week,” Umberger said.

He singled out how the sport is growing in Pittsburgh, in particular.

“This was a great week for Pittsburgh hockey,” Umberger said. “Having Penn State around is going to make it even better. Things are looking up for hockey in this city.”

Maybe there will even be a few Pittsburgh Penguins games in a few weeks?

* – Umberger’s alma mater Ohio State lost to Penn State during the event.

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. 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.

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.