Jaroslav Halak

Halak ‘probably’ out another week, Blues recall Allen

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Roughly 48 hours after taking Jaroslav Halak off IR and sending Jake Allen to the AHL, the Blues are reversing course.

That’s the story out of St. Louis on Tuesday as the club recalled Allen from the Peoria Rivermen — a move likely related to reports that Halak could miss another week with his groin issue.

RDS’ Renaud Lavoie passes along word that the Slovak netminder will ‘probably’ miss the next seven days (he hasn’t played since Feb. 1) after re-tweaking his groin during warmups prior to Monday’s 4-1 loss to Los Angeles.

Brian Elliott was forced into emergency action (Halak was slated to start against the Kings) and allowed four goals on 23 shots.

An All-Star in 2011-12, Elliott has struggled mightily while Halak’s been shelved — he’s allowed 20 goals on his last 105 shots faced and has been the goalie of record for all of St. Louis’ recent losing skid.

It’ll be interesting to see who Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock starts in goal for Wednesday’s game in Detroit.

Hitch has been vocal with his displeasure with Elliott’s play as of late, saying “he’s got to be better” while suggesting that, if Halak was unable to play against Los Angeles, he would’ve gone with rookie netminder Jake Allen between the pipes.

Just one problem — when Halak cleared IR on Sunday, Allen was sent back to AHL Peoria.

Update: According to NHL.com’s Lou Korac, Halak was on the ice Tuesday with Elliott and Allen.

Report: Torres won’t appeal 41-game suspension

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Sounds like Raffi Torres is accepting his punishment.

Per Sportsnet, Torres won’t appeal his 41-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The report comes just days after the NHL’s Department of Player Safety levied one of the longest disciplinary rulings in league history, citing both the severity of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ lengthy history of suspensions, fines and warnings.

There was some thought, however, that Torres would try to challenge the ruling.


He does have a history of success in that department. In 2012,Torres successfully appealed his suspension for a headshot on Chicago’s Marian Hossa, and had his punishment reduced from 25 games to 21.

Torres also isn’t considered a “repeat offender” under the current collective bargaining agreement, as his last suspension came in 2013.

Of course, part of that clean record is due to the fact he hasn’t played much. Torres has largely been sidelined by injury for the last two seasons, missing all of last year with knee problems.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman delved further into the repeat offender thing in his latest 30 Thoughts column:

If you read the relevant sections of the CBA, the league takes the position that the repeat offender status is only applicable to fines. Repeaters are fined on a per-game basis, non-repeaters on a per-day basis. (The former is more expensive, because there are fewer games than days in an NHL season.) However, if you go to Section 18.2, among the factors taken into account are, “the status of the offender and, specifically, whether the Player has a history of being subject to Supplementary Discipline for On-Ice Conduct.”

So, in the NHL’s view, a player’s history is relevant, even if longer than 18 months ago.

Should the report prove accurate and Torres doesn’t appeal, he will be eligible to return to action on Jan. 14, when the Sharks take on the Oilers.

Report: Kings, Richards nearing settlement

Mike Richards
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The Los Angeles Kings and Mike Richards may be nearing a settlement in their dispute over Richards’ terminated contract, TSN’s Bob McKenzie is reporting.

You can read the report for all the details, but we’re sure curious about this part:

If a settlement is reached, there’s no word yet on what salary cap penalties the Kings would still face. There’s bound to be something, but not likely as onerous as the full value of Richards’ contract, which carries with it a cap hit of $5.75 million. If there’s a settlement, Richards would undoubtedly become a free agent though there’s no telling at this point what monies he would be entitled to from the Kings in a settlement.

The issue here is precedent, and what this case could set. The NHL and NHLPA can’t allow teams to escape onerous contracts through a back door, and many are adamant that that’s what the Kings were attempting to do in Richards’ case.