Patrick Kane

Anyone notice Patrick Kane isn’t chewing on his mouth guard anymore?


Is this a story? We’re not sure, but we’re going to pass it along anyway.

Apparently Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane — currently second in NHL scoring with 20 points — isn’t chewing on his mouth guard anymore…because he’s not wearing one anymore.

From Chicago’s Daily Herald:

Kane stopped wearing the mouth piece when he went to play in Switzerland and has kept it out upon his return to the NHL. Kane is off to such a great start that he said he might not put one in his mouth all season.

“It was a tough decision, but it seems to be working out so let’s keep it that way for a while,” Kane said Tuesday. “For now I haven’t been wearing it, but it could come back.”

Kane doesn’t believe it has anything to do with him being off to the best start of his career.

“Maybe I’m not thinking about it so much,” he said. “Was I thinking about chewing on it instead of focusing on the game? I don’t know.”

Kane says he tried some new mouth guards when he got back from Switzerland, but “it just kind of felt weird in my mouth,” so he’s rolling the dice without one.

Hopefully we don’t have to write a follow-up about Kane’s pending dental surgery after taking a puck in the chops.

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.