Sharks GM: Goal still playoffs despite Murray trade


Even after trading defenseman Douglas Murray to the Pittsburgh Penguins, the San Jose Sharks wouldn’t classify themselves as sellers.

“This doesn’t take away our goal of trying to make the playoffs this year,” Sharks GM Doug Wilson said in a CSN Bay Area report. “We have to play better on a 60-minute basis for longer periods of time, to accomplish that.”

Although they have struggled mightily since their 7-0-0 start to the season, the Sharks are still very much in the race for a playoff spot.

“The reality is, we haven’t played up to the way we think we’re capable of playing,” Wilson said. “We haven’t been very consistent. But, this is a hockey trade that involves a player I have tremendous respect for…he’s a pending UFA. Pittsburgh was willing to pay very full value for him.”

The Penguins surrendered two second-round picks for the 33-year-old physical blueliner, although one of them will become a third-round selection if Murray fails to re-sign with Pittsbrugh or the team doesn’t win at least two playoff rounds.

It’s worth noting that Wilson’s comments largely echo what Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk said after he shipped Brenden Morrow to the Penguins.

“The guys are focused,” Nieuwendyk said. “I talked to them this morning because it is a big deal when you move your captain (but) this doesn’t change our mindset at all of making the playoffs.”

With the race for the playoff spots tight this season, it’s difficult to find true sellers, but as Wilson put it, “Pittsburgh was very aggressive.”


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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.