Yes, it was late, and John Moore deserved a penalty for it.
No, it’s not worth a suspension.
That’s how Rangers coach Alain Vigneault sees the hit that Moore leveled Montreal’s Dale Weise with last night in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final.
“The guy (Weise) was admiring his pass a little bit,” Vigneault said today.
“I don’t see what else it could warrant (in addition to Moore being ejected from the game). But I’ve been surprised before.”
Indeed he has. Like in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, when he was coaching Vancouver and his player, Aaron Rome, was suspended four games for hitting Boston’s Nathan Horton late. He was definitely surprised (and furious) by that ruling, and things quickly went south for his Canucks.
What the NHL decides to do with Moore remains to be seen. The player has a hearing today for an illegal check to the head.
“The league will do what it has to do,” Vigneault said last night. “I think [Moore] was penalized on the ice. John is definitely not the type of player to try to hurt someone, but it was a late hit and it was the right call on the ice.”
And according to Vigneault, that’s where it should end. With the call on the ice.
Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp
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
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.