Skinner returned to Carolina for examination after Cowen hit


On Wednesday, the Carolina Hurricanes announced they’ve returned Jeff Skinner to Raleigh for further examination after he took a massive hit from Sens defenseman Jared Cowen in Ottawa on Tuesday.

Here’s the incident in question:

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The ‘Canes are currently on a mini two-game trip through Ottawa and Winnipeg, before returning home on Saturday to play Philadelphia.

So, Skinner will presumably miss Thursday’s game against the Jets, and it wouldn’t be surprising if he was held out against the Flyers — and beyond.

The 20-year-old has suffered concussions in each of the past two seasons, missing 16 games last year and five games this year.

As for the hit that did the damage, Carolina head coach Kirk Muller and enforcer Kevin Westgarth — who fought Cowen later in the game — clearly weren’t pleased.

“I think you’ve got a big guy coming down on a shorter guy and you catch him high, in the upper body,” Muller told the Raleigh News and Observer. “It’s a tough one there, a tough one to call.”

“It’s terrible to see when a guy gets hit like that,” Westgarth added. “It’s not going to be accepted by anybody on our team.”

According to Chip Alexander of the News and Observer, ‘Canes GM Jim Rutherford said he didn’t think Cowen intended to injure Skinner, and that the hit “is classified as a legal hit in our sport.”

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.