Coyotes name Bernhardt as new director of amateur scouting

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With just a couple weeks remaining before the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, the Phoenix Coyotes have announced that Tim Bernhardt will serve as the team’s director of amateur scouting.

It’s a role he’s very familiar with as he worked in that capacity for the Dallas Stars from 1998 to 2011.

“The thing about the draft is you’re not always going to mine gold in the first round,” Bernhardt said, per the Coyotes’ website. “You’re going to have your misses there … but the key is the body of work and to try to work through seven rounds of the draft because there are players there and you just have to find them. That’s what we did in Dallas and that’s what I’m most proud of.”

The closest Bernhardt ever came to drafting a star in the first round was arguably his selection of defenseman Matt Niskanen with the 28th overall pick in 2005, but he did take a number of great players in later rounds, including Mike Smith (2001, fifth round), Jussi Jokinen (2001, sixth round), Loui Eriksson (2003, second round), James Neal (2005, second round), and Jamie Benn (2007, fifth round).

That’s an area the Coyotes need to improve on. Through the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Phoenix has taken no players after the first round that have gone on to play in at least 30 NHL games. On top of that, Michael Stone is their only second round pick or later through the 2006 draft that’s participated in at least 100 NHL contests.

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.