One of the big stories from early this season was the massive ice time being logged by Nashville’s rookie defenseman, Seth Jones.
Recently, though, that narrative has changed — Jones played a season-low 9:29 against the Rangers on Tuesday — and now he’s looking to reverse that course.
“I’ve had a few meetings with [Preds head coach Barry Trotz] and was probably playing more minutes than I should at the beginning of the year because [Roman] Josi got hurt, but that was the circumstance,” Jones told The Tennessean. “I think how many minutes I play is reflected with how I actually play.
“That’s usually how it works, but I’m looking to get my minutes back up.”
Jones logged some remarkable TOI totals in the first month of the season, including 28:14 in a 2-1 shootout loss to L.A. on Oct. 17 — just his seventh NHL game — and 30:19 in a 5-4 shootout loss to Phoenix on Oct. 31.
When Shea Weber was lost after taking a puck to the eye in late November, Jones’ minutes spiked again. He played a career-high 30:43 against Philly on Nov. 30 and 29:40 the following game against Vancouver — but there’s been a dramatic down spike since.
Jones is minus-11 on the season and his Corsi (a plus-minus statistic that measures shot attempts) has decreased steadily as the year’s progressed. His offensive production has dried up — just three points in his last 17 games — and, as a result, Trotz has dramatically cut Jones’ minutes.
Prior to playing less than 10 minutes against the Rangers, Jones saw just 12:42 in a 5-2 loss to Washington.
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.