James van Riemsdyk

JVR faces former team tonight, leads Leafs in goals


When Philadelphia drafted James van Riemsdyk second overall in 2007, he thought he would “win a Cup or two” and “sail off into the sunset” as a member of the Flyers.

But it didn’t turn out that way. In June – after a challenging 2011-12 season which injuries limited to just 43 appearances – van Riemsdyk was traded to the Maple Leafs for defenseman Luke Schenn.

Tonight, the 23-year-old faces his former team in Toronto as his new team’s leading goal-scorer (7).

“I’ve always said in the past that when I’m given the opportunity to be a key contributor, I’ve held up my end of the bargain and was a productive player,” JVR told reporters on Sunday, per CSNPhilly.com.

“For whatever reason, over the last year, with injuries, those types of things got in the way. But I always knew that I had confidence in myself and when given the opportunity that I would make the most of it.”

Van Riemsdyk showed flashes of potential in Philadelphia. He was dominant at times during the 2010-11 playoffs, scoring seven times in 11 games.

Whether the Flyers live to regret trading van Riemsdyk, we’ll have to wait and see. Schenn has been playing “good steady defense” for Philadelphia (coach Peter Laviolette’s words), but his upside is probably more limited.

“I had some great years and some great memories in Philadelphia,” said van Riemsdyk. “But that’s all in the past now and it’s time to focus on what’s ahead.”

Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp

Mathew Barzal
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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.