Nazem Kadri

Kadri confident contract will get done, hopes to avoid ‘distraction’

By no means did Nazem Kadri sound fraught with anxiety about his contract status with the Toronto Maple Leafs (i.e. the fact he doesn’t currently have one); however, the 22-year-old restricted free agent did admit Monday he’d like to get a deal done before it becomes a real issue.

“The closer and closer camp comes, the more of a distraction it is to me,” Kadri told the Toronto Sun. “But I’m confident we’ll come up with something. I know both parties want to get something done, it’s just a matter of them getting some things together and putting the team back where it was. We have a solid foundation, a great group of guys and no one wants to leave.”

The problem for the Leafs general manager Dave Nonis is, in addition to getting Kadri signed, he also has to negotiate a deal with RFA defenseman Cody Franson.

Some analysis from the Sun:

The cap-challenged Leafs might sign both RFAs, let camp run its course and then get back under the cap by dropping one or two salaries in the $1 million-range before opening night. The Leafs have about $4.9 million US to work with at present, not enough for both RFAs.

The Leafs have reportedly tried to trade defenseman John-Michael Liles in order to free up some cap space, to no avail.


Leafs need Kadri to take another step

Will Toronto be forced to trade Franson?

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.