Isles’ Strait (broken ankle) will return before end of regular season


The New York Islanders will get some defensive reinforcements down the stretch.

That was the word out of Long Island on Monday as head coach Jack Capuano said injured defenseman Brian Strait is “close” to returning to action.

Strait, 25, was put on injured reserve in mid-February after breaking his ankle in a game against the Flyers.

According to’s Brian Compton, Strait will “definitely” play before the end of the regular season.

Pittburgh’s third-round selection (65th overall) at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, Strait was plucked off waivers from the Pens the day prior to New York’s season-opening loss to New Jersey and appeared in 15 games for the Isles before getting hurt, registering four assists with a plus-3 rating while averaging 17:54 in ice time.

On Jan. 31, the Islanders signed Strait to a three-year, $2.3 million extension.

New York currently sits seventh in the Eastern Conference with 47 points, three clear of ninth-place Winnipeg. They have six games remaining on their schedule, which includes a five-game road trip to close out the year in Toronto, Winnipeg, Carolina, Philadelphia and Buffalo.

Update: The Isles have activated Strait from injured reserve.

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.