Sam Gagner

Report: Sam Gagner should return tonight (Update: He’s in)

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The Edmonton Oilers are likely to get a big boost tonight as center Sam Gagner is expected to be available for their match against the Toronto Maple Leafs, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger and Bob McKenzie. This follows a recent report that Gagner is “much closer” to returning.

Edmonton could certainly use all the help it can get. The Oilers have limped out of the gate and things got to the point where forward Jordan Eberle declared Saturday and Sunday’s games “must-wins.” They proceeded to lose both of those contests.

With a 3-8-2 record, they are dead last in the Western Conference and already eight games out of a playoff spot. If they continue this descent for much longer then the hole they’re Oilers digging for themselves might start to look too deep to get out of.

It’s not clear if the Oilers would consider easing Gagner back into the lineup after missing their first 13 games of the season, but either way, they will eventually need to make a decision regarding Mark Arcobello.

The 25-year-old forward has been one of the few pleasant surprises for Edmonton so far this season with 10 assists in 13 games. Arcobello has also won 52.7% of his faceoffs this season.

Gagner is in the first campaign of his three-year, $14.4 million contract. He took a big step forward in 2013 with 14 goals and 38 points in 48 games.

Update 1:21 p.m. ET

Gagner is officially in tonight, as per the Oilers’ Twitter account.

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.