Tim Thomas with Markstrom watching

Thomas takes to ice with Panthers



Pictured above is Tim Thomas in goal during this morning’s Florida Panthers practice (per the Miami Herald’s George Richards).

Watching Thomas — who’s with the Panthers on a tryout basis — is young Jacob Markstrom, who’s got big plans of his own for the 2013-14 season.

The other goalie battling for a spot with the club is veteran Scott Clemmensen, currently sidelined a few weeks with a knee injury.

Yesterday, general manager Dale Tallon spoke to reporters about his decision to give Thomas, 39, a shot.

“He’s a two-time Vezina Trophy winner, a Conn Smythe Trophy winner,” Tallon told reporters. “We need goaltending. We need somebody to help us get to where we need to get to. Right now it’s Tim Thomas. He’s going to get an opportunity.”

Tallon added: “He and Markstrom and Clemmensen will battle for the position. And whoever wins the position will be the starter. … He [Thomas] really wants to play and he really wants to lead and he really wants to be the starter and he wants to win and he wants to win now. I was very impressed with him. I liked everything he had to say, I liked his approach. … We strive to get better every day and a good Tim Thomas will make us better.”

The Panthers have five preseason games remaining, starting Wednesday in Dallas. According to Harvey Fialkov of the Sun Sentinel, Thomas may get the nod Saturday in Tampa Bay.

Related: Thomas is a smart gamble for Panthers

Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension

Torres hit
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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. For one thing, Torres is a repeat offender who 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.

Flames acquire Freddie Hamilton, brother of Dougie

Freddie Hamilton
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Roughly three months after acquiring Dougie Hamilton, the Calgary Flames have brought his brother on board too.

Freddie Hamilton was pried away from the Colorado Avalanche for the cost a 2016 conditional seventh-round draft pick, per the Avalanche’s website. The Flames announced that he will report to AHL Stockton.

Freddie, who is the older of the two at 23, is a center that excelled offensively in the OHL and has chipped in at the AHL level. However, he has just one point in 29 contests with Colorado and the San Jose Sharks.

This is obviously not a big trade, but perhaps Freddie will eventually become a solid member of the Flames’ supporting cast. If nothing else, it didn’t cost Calgary much to reunite the brothers. The duo previously played together with the Niagara IceDogs.