Thomas Hickey

Isles claim former Kings first-rounder Hickey off waivers


In 2007, the Kings made Thomas Hickey the fourth overall selection — behind Patrick Kane, James van Riemsdyk and Kyle Turris — at the NHL Entry Draft.

Today, Hickey’s time with Los Angeles came to an end as the New York Islanders announced they claimed the 23-year-old rearguard off waivers.

The captain of Canada’s gold medal-winning Junior team from 2009, Hickey has yet to make good on the promise that made him the first defenseman drafted in ’07 (ahead of Karl Alzner, Ryan McDonagh and Kevin Shattenkirk.)

He’s also yet to make his NHL debut, having spent the last four-plus seasons playing for AHL Manchester.

Injuries (ankle, shoulder) and a deep Kings blueline have played their part in Hickey not making the NHL jump. He, along with 2008 first-rounder Colten Teubert, always seemed to be stuck on a low rung of the organizational ladder (Teubert was flipped to Edmonton in the Dustin Penner trade of 2011.)

That said, Hickey should have a slightly better shot of making the Isles roster. They’re still without the services of Lubomir Visnovsky, leaving them with a crew of Mark Streit, Matt Carkner, Travis Hamonic, Matt Donovan, Ty Wishart, Radek Martinek and Andrew MacDonald on the blueline.

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.