Marian Gaborik #10 of the Columbus Blue Jackets skates against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on October 5, 2013 in Uniondale, New York. The Blue Jackets defeated the Islanders 3-2 in the shootout.
(October 4, 2013 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)

After 22-game absence, Gaborik returns for Jackets tomorrow

Marian Gaborik will look to get his injury-riddled campaign on track Thursday in New Jersey.

The Columbus winger, who has missed the last 22 games with a broken collarbone, will return to the Blue Jackets’ lineup for the first time since late December, the club announced on today.

“I expect him to come out hard and play hard,” Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards told the Columbus Dispatch. “And if he does that, he’s going to play fast and generate some offensive chances for us.”

As mentioned above, it’s been a trying season for Gaborik’s health. The broken collarbone was the second major injury suffered this year — in November, he sprained his knee and missed 17 games (and actually broke the collarbone in his first game back from the knee ailment.)

On the year, Gaborik has 12 points in 18 games, averaging 17:47 TOI per game.

It’ll be interesting to see how the Jackets respond to having the Slovakian sniper back in the lineup. The team has fared extremely well every since Nathan Horton returned from offseason shoulder surgery, and will have almost its full compliment of forwards with Gaborik back in the mix.

According to the Dispatch, Gaborik will open on a line with Mark Letestu and Derek MacKenzie, and will be on the Blue Jackets’ No. 1 power play unit with Horton and Ryan Johansen.

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.