Stephane Robidas

Robidas skates, feels ‘better than expected’ six weeks after breaking leg

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Steve Stamkos isn’t the only NHLer staging a remarkable recovery from a broken leg.

Dallas defenseman Stephane Robidas, six weeks removed from breaking his tibia and fibia, hit the ice this week — once on Monday, again today — and is already making progress.

“It’s pretty good. It’s better than I expected, to be honest,” Robidas said, per the Stars website. “A little bit of it is pain, a lot of it is mental. You’ve got to trust it. We just did a little skating, no stop and start, no pivoting. I went forward, laps where I did c-cuts and kind of pushed on one leg. Obviously the stride is not the same, but I try to keep it as close as possible.

“Monday I couldn’t do any crossover to one side, but by the end of today I was able to do some. Progress.”

Robidas, 36, had a rod placed in his right tibia with screws and his ankle and knee, and was given a 4-6 month recovery timetable. Within days of undergoing surgery, the veteran rearguard was already doing upper leg exercises and trying to development movement in his ankle.

What’s more, he wants to suit up again this year.

“I feel like I have more of a defined goal now, I have an idea of where I am going and what date and where maybe I can play,” he said. “To me that is positive. And just to have a goal, at least I am training for something and that I’ll be able to be back and playing this year.”

Here’s the play that broke Robidas’ leg (he was stretchered off the ice):

As mentioned above, Stamkos is also in the midst of a remarkable comeback from a busted leg of his own — on Monday, he joined Tampa Bay for its morning skate prior to a game against Columbus and said he’s “felt better each time,” he’s taken to the ice.

Stamkos suffered a broken right tibia on Nov. 12 against Boston, and is aiming to be back in the Lightning lineup before the Olympic break.

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.