Wild juggle lines, roster for huge tilt vs. Kings


Needing a win tonight, Mike Yeo is shaking things up.

The Minnesota head coach is making a number of lineup changes for Tuesday’s game against LA:

— Jake Dowell will make his season debut
— Zenon Konopka will draw back in for the first time since Apr. 11
— Justin Faulk will replace Brett Clark on defense
— Cal Clutterbuck will jump up to the second line

All this as the Wild look to snap a five-game winless streak at the Xcel Energy Center and get one step closer to the playoffs.

Minnesota heads into tonight’s game in seventh place in the West, but tied with eighth-place Columbus on points (51).

What’s more, the Wild are only one up on ninth-place Detroit and three up on 10th-place Dallas, and could find themselves in must-win territory should they fail to get a result against the Kings.

Clutterbuck, who will skate with Matt Cullen and Devin Setoguchi tonight, says he’s looking forward to the challenge and appreciates that team still controls its own destiny — even though the Wild are 3-6-1 in their last 10.

“I think we’ve got to remove ourselves from the negativity surrounding it all and realize we have a great chance,” he told the Minnesota Star-Tribune. “We’re still in control.”

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. 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.

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.