COLUMBUS, OH - DECEMBER 16: Dustin Byfuglien #33 of the Winnipeg Jets controls the puck during the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on December 16, 2013 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

Jets plan to leave Byfuglien at forward for now


Mere days before he was fired, Winnipeg Jets coach Claude Noel decided to move Dustin Byfuglien from the blueline to the right wing in an effort to break the team out of its slump.

It was a bold move, even if Byfuglien previously served as a winger with the Chicago Blackhawks. Since then Paul Maurice has taken over as the Jets’ new bench boss, but he’s decided to keep Noel’s experiment going.

“Can you imagine having a guy that’s that big, that can move like that and with hands like that, with some of his creative instincts,” Maurice told the Winnipeg Sun. “I’m going to leave him there until I see something that I need to change.

“That may be next week, it may be next month, it may be never. I’m not making a decision until I need to.”

Byfuglien is out of practice in his new role and consequently doesn’t feel comfortable in it, but he sees it as a fun challenge. Winnipeg will play against Calgary on Thursday.


Jets GM could ‘maybe move some pieces’

Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp

Mathew Barzal
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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

Torres hit

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. 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.

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.