Evgeni Malkin and Sergei Gonchar have been close ever since Gonchar took the young forward under his wing in Pittsburgh, so it must be special for them to play together again in the KHL. Now they can share monthly awards under the same heading.
Geno truly had a December to remember, clocking a dizzying 25 points in nine games while registering a +15 rating. The Pittsburgh Penguins star is now second in league scoring with 59 points in 35 games.
His former Penguins teammate was strong in his own right, notching a goal and 10 assists for 11 points in the same nine games. Gonchar’s not too far from a point-per-game pace, collecting 28 in 35 KHL contests this season.
To round out the league’s other awards, former Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Karri Ramo earned best netminder and another goalie (Alexander Sharychenkov) won rookie of the month.
Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension
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.
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.
"I’m looking forward to being in the same organization as my brother now and seeing what happens." – Dougie Hamilton on the trade