Lubomir Visnovsky

Isles welcome Visnovsky, Bailey to their lineup

The New York Islanders will finally get to add two pieces to their lineup on Saturday. (In case you’re wondering, Tim Thomas isn’t one of those guys.)

Erstwhile defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky and forward Josh Bailey are set to play against the Buffalo Sabres tonight after taking very different paths to Long Island.

As you likely already know, Visnovsky fought a trade that sent him from the Anaheim Ducks to the Islanders in the off-season. The 36-year-old kept busy with Bratislava in the KHL during the lockout and will finally begin to honor the last year of his NHL deal in today’s contest.

Meanwhile, Bailey had his knee scoped in January and appears healthy to play. The team went through the formality of suspending the 23-year-old for injury-related reasons but it doesn’t appear that there are any hard feelings.

However Visnovsky and Bailey might feel about the Islanders, they have plenty to gain by performing well. Each player is in the final year of their current contracts (Visnovsky will be unrestricted while Bailey is scheduled to be an RFA), so a lot can be gained if they push this team over the top to true contender status.

Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp

Mathew Barzal
Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.