NHL coaches are finding new, potentially insulting ways to praise their players.
Yesterday, Canucks bench boss John Tortorella called David Booth a “weird dude” — adding “it’s good to have weird dudes” — and that was followed by Edmonton’s Dallas Eakins, who praised Ryan Nugent-Hopkins….for resembling a bobblehead.
“The thing I like about Nuge is that he’s a bobblehead,” Eakins said on Wednesday. “I ask him to do something and he nods his head.
“And not only does he nod his head but he goes out and does it.”
Eakins asked Nugent-Hopkins to do plenty on Tuesday night against New Jersey, the 20-year-old’s season debut after missing the first two games of the year with a shoulder ailment.
Nugent-Hopkins played 28:12 in the 5-4 shootout victory, scoring his first goal of the year (on the PP) while registering six shots on goal.
It sounds as though Nuge is OK with being called a bobblehead, so long as it translates into big minutes.
“I don’t think I ever played 28 minutes before. I don’t remember that many minutes in junior. Maybe 25. But I have no idea. They never showed us our ice-time numbers,” he explained. “[Eakins] double-shifted and triple-shifted me.
“I’d be happy to do it again.”
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.