One of the knocks against the Colorado drafting Nathan MacKinnon was that the Avalanche weren’t hurting for another center, but coach Patrick Roy thinks he has a solution for that potential logjam, based on a Denver Post report.
Roy plans to shift Ryan O’Reilly from center to the left wing so that he can play on a line with P.A. Parenteau and Matt Duchene. That will free up the third line center gig for Nathan MacKinnon. He’ll be flanked by Jamie McGinn and Steve Downie.
In the long run, MacKinnon is projected to develop into a top line forward, but Roy is looking to ease him into the NHL.
“It wouldn’t matter where I play,” MacKinnon said. “I just would do whatever it takes to help the team.”
There will also be a line of Paul Stastny, Gabriel Landeskog, and the recently acquired Alex Tanguay.
One of the big question mark is whether or not O’Reilly can make the adjustment to playing on the wing. We will probably see these lines change meaningfully once the season gets underway, but it does give us an early glimpse into how Roy sees everyone fitting together.
Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp
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.