Shaw hit

Mike Smith vents after being hit again by Shaw


Back in the 2012 playoffs, Chicago’s Andrew Shaw received a three-game suspension for charging into Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith. More than a year later, it looks like that incident still isn’t far from Smith’s mind.

With Phoenix and Chicago’s game on Thursday tied at 4-4 in the third period, Shaw once again nailed Smith with enough force to knock them both down.

That’s not to suggest that the two events are comparable. Shaw raced behind the net and directly into Smith in 2012 while last night’s hit might have even been unintentional contact given that Shaw was positioning himself near the crease when he appeared to be shoved by Phoenix forward Lauri Korpikoski.

Still, Smith took offense and went after Shaw as soon as they were on their skates. As a result, Smith was given a two minute roughing penalty that canceled out Shaw’s minor for goalie interference.

“He has a reputation of two years ago, knocking me out and it was kind of a dirty play back in front again,” Smith said after the game, according to CSN Chicago. “I’ve talked about it numerous times with the league. When we talk about vulnerable hits, that’s a goalie down in front trying to make the save and guy sticks his elbow out. That’s attempt to injure as far as I’m concerned.”

Smith stayed in the game, but suffered a 5-4 shootout loss to the Blackhawks.


‘Hawks, Shaw agree on two-year extension

Sens demote former first-rounder Puempel

Matt Puempel
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Looks like Matt Puempel won’t be making the leap after all.

Puempel, the subject of Ottawa’s “looking to make the leap” profile during our Team of the Day series, has been sent down to AHL Binghamton one day prior to the Sens’ opener against Buffalo.

Puempel, taken by Ottawa in the first round (24th overall) at the ’11 draft, made his big-league debut last season and looked as though he’d stick around — only to suffer a high ankle sprain after 13 games, and miss the rest of the season.

The 22-year-old came into this year’s camp looking to secure a full-time position at the big league level, but was beaten out by Shane Prince for the final forward spot on the roster.

To be fair, contract status probably played a role. Prince would’ve had to clear waivers to get down to Bingo, whereas Puempel didn’t.

A former 30-goal scorer in the American League, Puempel is expected to get another look with Ottawa this season.

Report: Torres won’t appeal 41-game suspension


Sounds like Raffi Torres is accepting his punishment.

Per Sportsnet, Torres won’t appeal his 41-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The report comes just days after the NHL’s Department of Player Safety levied one of the longest disciplinary rulings in league history, citing both the severity of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ lengthy history of suspensions, fines and warnings.

There was some thought, however, that Torres would try to challenge the ruling.


He does have a history of success in that department. In 2012,Torres successfully appealed his suspension for a headshot on Chicago’s Marian Hossa, and had his punishment reduced from 25 games to 21.

Torres also isn’t considered a “repeat offender” under the current collective bargaining agreement, as his last suspension came in 2013.

Of course, part of that clean record is due to the fact he hasn’t played much. Torres has largely been sidelined by injury for the last two seasons, missing all of last year with knee problems.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman delved further into the repeat offender thing in his latest 30 Thoughts column:

If you read the relevant sections of the CBA, the league takes the position that the repeat offender status is only applicable to fines. Repeaters are fined on a per-game basis, non-repeaters on a per-day basis. (The former is more expensive, because there are fewer games than days in an NHL season.) However, if you go to Section 18.2, among the factors taken into account are, “the status of the offender and, specifically, whether the Player has a history of being subject to Supplementary Discipline for On-Ice Conduct.”

So, in the NHL’s view, a player’s history is relevant, even if longer than 18 months ago.

Should the report prove accurate and Torres doesn’t appeal, he will be eligible to return to action on Jan. 14, when the Sharks take on the Oilers.