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Blackhawks nominated as Sports Team of the Year by SportsBusiness Journal


The Chicago Blackhawks are one of six nominees for Sports Team of the Year in the seventh annual Sports Business Awards.

The Stanley Cup champion ‘Hawks are up against the Boston Red Sox, Golden State Warriors, Portland Timbers, Seattle Seahawks and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association.

Chicago leads the NHL in attendance, averaging 22,802 at the United Center (and one sold-out game at Soldier Field.) The ‘Hawks also led the league in attendance the previous five seasons.

That’s a far cry from where the Original Six club was for the first few seasons of the new millennium, bottoming out in 2006-07 when average attendance was just 12,727 (29th in the NHL) and hockey was an afterthought in the Windy City.

Another Original Six club that had struggled to maintain relevancy in a big sports city, the Boston Bruins, received the 2012 Sports Team of the Year Award after winning the Stanley Cup in 2011, its first championship since 1972.

PS — NBC Sports Group is nominated in three categories: Best in Sports Media, Best in Sports Television, and Best in Digital Sports Media.

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.