PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane gained a lot of respect for the San Jose Sharks’ Joe Thornton when they played together for HC Davos during the lockout. They’re back to being rivals though and will face each other on Friday. (Chicago Tribune)
Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson spent parts of six seasons with the Los Angeles Kings, but he’s not getting emotional over his latest game against the Kings on Friday. “I’ve already played these guys a couple of times,” Johnson said. “It’s nothing out of the ordinary now.” (LA Kings Insider)
After the loss of Erik Karlsson, is it possible that the Edmonton Oilers will trade defenseman Ryan Whitney to the Ottawa Senators? (Edmonton Journal)
The New Jersey Devils’ players are crediting coach Peter DeBoer’s system for their early success. (The Globe and Mail)
To avoid more injuries like Karlsson’s season-ending Achilles laceration, should more NHL players go into games with cut-proof Kevlar socks? (Sportsnet)
The demotion of 20-year-old defenseman Jamie Oleksiak is about allowing him to get more playing time. The 2011 first-round pick averaged 15:40 minutes of ice time in six games with the Dallas Stars. (Dallas Morning News)
Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis admitted that telling 32-year-old forward Manny Malhotra, who was attempting to come back from an eye injury, that his playing days in Vancouver were over was the “the hardest thing I have done in this job.” (Vancouver Sun)
Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Brendan Mikkelson and forward Pierre-Cedric Labrie are both heading to the AHL on conditioning assignments. (Lightning.nhl.com)
Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp
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
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.