The defending Stanley Cup champs are getting a key piece of their defense back in time for the playoffs.
That was the story out of Los Angeles on Thursday as Kings GM Dean Lombardi announced Matt Greene had been activated from injured reserve.
Greene, 29, hasn’t played in the last 42 games after suffering a back injury during a season-opening loss to Chicago.
The Kings have missed the 6-foot-3, 232 pound rearguard’s presence, especially after he scored a career-high four goals and 15 points in 2011-12.
Greene followed that up by chipping in 2G-4A-6PTS in 20 playoff games en route to the first championship in franchise history.
It’s possible Greene could draw back into the lineup tonight when the Kings host Columbus at Staples, though head coach Darryl Sutter wasn’t sure what to expect from him after so much time off.
“Quite honest, if he’s not ready to play three or four games, and if we made the playoffs, I’d have trouble putting him in for sure,” Sutter told LA Kings Insider. “He played, what, a few minutes of the year. So it’s not about ‘what you did’. It’s ‘what you’re doing.’
“It’s very simple. I mean, he’s going to have to play three or four games, very simple, otherwise I could not be comfortable with it.”
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.