Isles’ Grabner suspended two games for Gerbe headshot


New York Islanders forward Michael Grabner has been suspended two games for an illegal check to the head of Carolina’s Nathan Gerbe on Saturday night, the NHL has announced.

Grabner, 26, hit Gerbe in the first period and wasn’t penalized on the play.

“This is not a full bodycheck,” NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan explained. “The head is the main point of contact, and such contact is avoidable.”

Here’s the video:

The relatively light punishment — two games — was partly due to the fact Gerbe wasn’t hurt on the play (he remained in the game following the hit, finishing with an assist and over 18 minutes played).

The league also took into account Grabner’s lack of previous offenses.

Under terms of the CBA, Grabner will forfeit $30,769.24 in salary to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund. He’ll sit out games against Vancouver on Tuesday and Pittsburgh on Thursday, eligible for return for Saturday’s home date against Philadelphia.

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?