Rangers GM expects Richards to rebound from 2013


Brad Richards had a rough regular season and an outright terrible playoff run. He admitted that he “didn’t feel normal all season,” once it was over.

Considering the fact that he’s 33, some might wonder if he’s merely showing his age. New York Rangers GM Glen Sather opted against buying Richards out this summer, explaining to New York Newsday that he believes that the playmaker can turn things around in 2013-14.

“[Richards is] really good player,” Sather said. “I think he had an off-year, and we think he’ll be much better next year.”

Considering this decision, the Rangers must hope that new head coach Alain Vigneault and a more normal offseason program will do Richards and the rest of the team some good.

That doesn’t mean Richards won’t ever be bought out, however.

His $6.667 million cap hit extends through 2019-20, with 2013-14’s salary being $9 million. Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi are among the prominent Rangers whose contracts expire in the summer of 2014, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Rangers use their second (and final) compliance buyout on Richards.

It looks like he’ll get a chance to redeem himself next season, whether he’s auditioning for the Rangers or one of 29 other NHL teams for 2014-15.

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.