Howson interviewed by Canucks? Don’t laugh


OK fine, you can laugh a bit. But not too hard, because while Scott Howson’s time as general manager of the Columbus Blue Jackets was widely considered just that — laughable — some of his moves are looking considerably better with time.

(By the way, this post stems from a report by Hockey Night in Canada’s Elliotte Friedman that Howson, currently in the Oilers’ front office, was recently in Vancouver to interview for the vacant GM position there.)

For me, Howson’s biggest mistake with the Jackets was rolling the dice with Steve Mason in goal. But to be fair, Howson did eventually solve the team’s goaltending issues by getting Sergei Bobrovsky out of Philadelphia. He just solved it way too late.

Howson also drafted Ryan Johansen with the fourth overall pick in 2010, and perhaps more significantly for his potential candidacy with Vancouver (read this), had some later-round successes with the likes of Boone Jenner, David Savard, Matt Calvert and Cam Atkinson.

Having said all that, selling Howson to Vancouver hockey fans (translation: the people who buy the tickets) could be a challenge. His brand was badly damaged during his time in Columbus, and the Canucks are already a damaged brand themselves.

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.