Washington Capitals Introduce General Manager Brian MacLellan And Coach Barry Trotz

Trotz (kinda) downplays doubts about working with Ovechkin


Many believe that the Washington Capitals’ success with Barry Trotz may hinge on how the defensive-minded head coach gets along with Alex Ovechkin, but Trotz downplayed that situation with the Tennessean on Friday.

Well, sort of:

“I think people make too much out of it,” Trotz said. “I do know how I operate will be different from previous staffs. Until we go into the season and start playing real games, our relationship will be fine.”

Trotz seemed to be going strong with those first two sentences, but that last one might raise an eyebrow or two?

“What happens once the real games begin?” is a perfectly reasonable question to ask, although perhaps Trotz merely means that he’s giving the 28-year-old star a clean slate? (That would probably be ideal.)

The former Nashville Predators head coach might cringe at the skepticism regarding his ability to relate to Ovechkin, yet he’s also fed a fire or two with offseason comments, especially noting that the high-scorer has “too much glide in his game.”

Broadly speaking, there are probably two contrasting opinions on this hire:

1) Trotz will give Ovechkin and the Capitals the “tough love” they need.

2) He won’t be able to adapt to a team with a different set of strengths and this will end up being another questionable front office move by the Capitals.

Hey, if nothing else, would-be cautionary tale Alex Radulov recently said some nice things about Trotz

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.