Kovalev, who turns 40 in two weeks, has been mired in a funk since posting a one-goal, two-assist effort in Florida’s 5-1 season-opening victory against Carolina.
The Russian winger has just one point — a goal against Winnipeg — in eight games since and has posted a minus-4 rating over that time.
Slumping aside, it’s curious to note that head coach Kevin Dineen was still using Kovalev extensively over the last two weeks.
He played a season-high 21:22 in a loss to Ottawa on Jan. 24 and, in a 4-3 win over Buffalo on Sunday, played 17:33 — the only forwards to receive more ice time were Tomas Fleischmann and Stephen Weiss.
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.
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