Bernier Mask

Bernier bidding reportedly down to three: Leafs, Flyers or Wild


Sounds as though there’ll soon be a winner in the Jonathan Bernier sweepstakes.

According to RDS’ Renaud Lavoie, only three teams remain in the running for the Los Angeles goalie — Toronto, Philadelphia and Minnesota — and that the Kings are prepared to take the best offer put forth by one of the three clubs.

Toronto’s interest in Bernier has been rumored for quite some time.

GM Dave Nonis has refrained from speaking specifically about replacing incumbent starter James Reimer, but has said on numerous occasions he would look to upgrade any position — including goaltending — if the opportunity presented itself.

(Remember the whole Luongo-at-the-deadline fiasco?)

The Flyers’ offer would seemingly be contingent upon buying out Ilya Bryzgalov, then pairing Bernier with Steve Mason, who was acquired from Columbus last season and quickly signed to a contract extension.

Then there’s the situation in Minnesota, which is quite intriguing.

Earlier this week, owner Craig Leipold gave a less-than-ringing endorsement of Niklas Backstrom, saying “we are not uncomfortable” with bringing the 36-year-old Finn back to be the Wild’s No. 1 netminder for 2013-14.

Backstrom’s four-year, $24 million deal expires in July and he’d have to take a serious pay cut to stick in Minnesota.

The Wild don’t have a ton of cap space, so the possibility of getting a starting goalie on the cheap (Bernier is a pending RFA, and made just $1.25 million last season) would be tantalizing.


Report: Leafs might have scared Flyers out of Bernier bidding

Report: Jonathan Bernier has fired his agent

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.