In response to goaltender Scott Clemmensen undergoing minor knee surgery that will likely sideline him for about three weeks, Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon is looking to add a veteran goaltender.
“There will be a lot of transactions during this training camp,” Tallon told the Sun Sentinel. “We’re looking at every possibility, the waiver wire, trades, free agents, whatever we can do to improve.”
There are certainly some intriguing options on the free agent market, including Ilya Bryzgalov, Tim Thomas, and former Panthers goaltender Jose Theodore. The problem with any of them is that Clemmensen is only projected to be the backup goaltender and might end up missing little to no playing time, so it’s hardly an ideal situation for netminders with that kind of experience and standing.
Instead the Panthers might seek a goaltender that would be warm to joining their training camp roster on a tryout basis and possibly even agreeing to start the season in the AHL. Rick DiPietro, who is trying to work his way back into the NHL, might be an example of the type of goaltender they’re seeking.
If Clemmensen isn’t available for the season opener, then 23-year-old Jacob Markstrom would remain the team’s projected starting goaltender. Based on their current training camp roster, 20-year-old netminder Michael Houser would seem to be a strong contender to start the campaign as the number two netminder despite the fact that he has no AHL or NHL experience.
Another possibility is 25-year-old Rob Madore, who spent four seasons with the University of Vermont. He has only nine games worth of experience in the AHL, but he does have a 1.83 GAA and .951 save percentage at that level.
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.