COLUMBUS, OH - JANUARY 13: Valtteri Filppula #51 of the Tampa Bay Lightning controls the puck during the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on January 13, 2014 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

Filppula has fractured ankle, won’t play in Olympics


Tampa Bay Lightning forward Valtteri Filppula left Thursday’s game due to what has been revealed to be a non-displaced fractured ankle, according to the Tampa Tribune’s Erik Erlendsson.

The silver lining for the Lightning is that this occurred right before the Olympic break and his timetable suggests that he should be available in three weeks, so he might not end up missing many NHL games. This has to be a tough pill for Filppula to swallow though as he was just days away from representing Finland in the 2014 Winter Games.

The Finnish squad was already facing the strong possibility that Mikko Koivu won’t be available for the Olympics, so Filppula’s last minute injury has made a difficult situation worse.

Filppula was part of Finland’s bronze medal run in 2010 and contributed three goals in six games. Since then he’s emerged as a strong top-six forward and most recently has been a big part of the Lightning’s success during Steven Stamkos’ absence.

Filppula has 20 goals and 41 points in 56 contests in 2013-14.

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. 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.

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.