Report: Caps’ Stoa bolts to Russia (Update: Agent denies move)


Washington forward Ryan Stoa has signed with KHL club Metallurg Magnitogorsk, per Russian news outlet Sport-42.ru.

Stoa, 27, joined the Caps last year and appeared in three games at the NHL level, spending most of his time with AHL Hershey. He actually had a very solid season for the Bears — 16 goals and 40 points in 67 games — and his move to Russia caught Bears beat writer Tim Leone off guard:

A former standout at the University of Minnesota, Stoa — the 34th overall pick in 2005 — toiled in the Colorado organization for several years before leaving to join the Caps. He’s never really lived up to the promise he showed as the developmental stage; a member of the 2007 U.S. Junior team that won bronze (and featured the likes of Patrick Kane, James van Riemsdyk and Kyle Okposo), Stoa has appeared in just 37 career NHL games since making his debut in 2009-10.

Update: Stoa’s agent, Neil Sheehy, shot down the report via Twitter…

Per Penn Live, Stoa indicated the Russian report was, at the very least, extremely premature:

“I haven’t signed yet,” Stoa said. “I don’t know where it came from or what. We’re kind of looking at options, but that’s not true.”

Stoa, who has played for Hershey the past two seasons, is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. He said his first priority remains to try to re-sign with the Bears and Washington Capitals.

“Obviously, I want to come back to Hershey,” Stoa said.

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.