Bolts lose Bishop for remainder of regular season, playoffs uncertain


Wednesday was a good news, bad news day for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

On the good news front, the MRI on starting goalie Ben Bishop’s left wrist/arm revealed no structural damage.

On the bad news front, the club doesn’t appear to know just how severe the injury is — but knows it’s serious enough to sideline Bishop for the remainder of the regular season. Head coach Jon Cooper confirmed the team will be shutting Bishop down and, in a related move, the Bolts called up Kristers Gudlevskis from AHL Syracuse today to serve as a backup to Anders Lindback.

To get a sense of where the Lightning are with the injury, a few tweets:

Losing Bishop for any length of time would be devastating for the Bolts, who still have something to play for down the stretch — home-ice advantage in their first-round matchup with Montreal.

The NHL’s tallest netminder has had a Vezina-calibre season and, unlike the Steve Stamkos injury, Tampa Bay won’t be able to rely on a cast of capable, quality depth players to keep the team afloat — Lindback has been very average since coming over from Nashville two seasons ago and is 6-12-2 on the year with a 3.11 GAA and .884 save percentage.

Also, the sum total of his career playoff experience is — wait for it — thirteen minutes.

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.