Los Angeles Kings v Nashville Predators

Predators’ coach Trotz rips Kostitsyn, Smith


Nashville Predators head coach Barry Trotz had a strong critique of two players – Craig Smith and Sergei Kostitsyn – during his Sunday press conference.

“We expected production from Sergei and Craig Smith and we got none,” Trotz told the Examiner.com.

“Both those guys, we were looking at them to be top-six, top-seven forwards and we got no production. Craig Smith and Sergei were on power plays all year. I did it to try to get them going. I tried different things to get those guys going.

“I knew that we needed them because we score by committee and we had some committee members that didn’t get ‘er done.”

The 26-year-old Kostitsyn, who has one more year left on his two-year $6 million contact after this season, had just three goals and 15 points in 46 games.

Smith, 23, experienced a downturn in his second NHL season, scoring only four times and 12 points.

Those two players were part of the overwhelming problem, and that was the Predators, ravaged by injuries, had trouble scoring goals.

They finished at the bottom of the NHL, along with the Florida Panthers, in goals-for per game at 2.27.

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.