Columbus Blue Jackets v Vancouver Canucks

Report: Kesler won’t accept trade to Columbus, gives short list of teams


One can only speculate how many teams can afford to land Ryan Kesler from the Vancouver Canucks, but there’s also the matter of him waiving his no-trade clause. He wouldn’t do so to join the Columbus Blue Jackets even if they can make a deal with the Canucks, according to the Vancouver Province.

Update: Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos reports that Kesler provided the Canucks with a short list of teams he’d be interested in joining:

The Province notes that Kesler, 29, spent the 2002-03 season at Ohio State University (where he admitted he “wasn’t much of a student”). Apparently that single year of college hockey wasn’t enough to move the needle for the two-way forward.

It might not help that Kesler had a “legendary rift” with Blue Jackets forward R.J. Umberger during his brief time with the Buckeyes:

Read what you want into Kesler’s legendary rift with Blue Jackets centre R.J. Umberger that goes back to being college linemates for the Buckeyes. There’s the story about Umberger supposedly being jealous about Kesler’s first pro contract and using it as leverage to do his deal.

There was some alleged public dissing of Kesler on the Columbus airwaves and the two even fought at centre ice in Vancouver on Jan. 18, 2009. That was a long time ago, but you have to think bitterness lingers.

It’s not the greatest video, but here’s footage of that squabble:

Whether it’s that bitterness with Umberger or merely the fact that the Blue Jackets’ playoff position in the East isn’t any better than Vancouver’s out West, it sounds like Columbus can cross Kesler off its wish list.

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. For one thing, Torres is a repeat offender who 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.