The East Coast Hockey League and Central Hockey League are reportedly in talks to merge.
According to hockey agent Darryl Wolski, the president of the 2112 Hockey Agency, the two professional hockey leagues, which have teams primarily in the U.S., could merge as early as the 2015-16 season.
Hearing the ECHL and CHL are in talks to merge both leagues
Wolski added that Bakersfield, Las Vegas, Stockton and Ontario – all teams currently in the ECHL – could join the American Hockey League next year to form a true Western Conference. The AHL has been in discussions with western-based NHL teams about moving their affiliations to the west making it easier for player transactions to occur.
The ECHL currently has 22 teams while the CHL has nine teams schedule to play during the 2014-15 season. The AHL meanwhile has 30 clubs all currently affiliated with an NHL team.
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.