NHL teams made some final roster decisions on Friday, and in many cases, that meant that some familiar faces didn’t make the cut.
Here’s a roundup of hopefuls on paid tryouts who didn’t manage to stick with squads.
Did any of these players deserve to make those teams? Feel free to discuss prospects who deserved an extended NHL look, too, if you feel the urge.
One thing we’re sure to see plenty of in the next few days is seeing veteran players get invites to this week’s abbreviated training camp.
One such player is former Sharks and Blues forward Brad Winchester who has landed an invitation to camp with the Calgary Flames. The professional tryout gives him a chance to earn a spot with the veteran club and fortunately for him, the Flames are a team that could use veteran depth up front.
Last season with San Jose, Winchester played in 67 games scoring six goals with four assists as well as 88 penalty minutes. With Calgary likely not bringing back free agent Tom Kostopolous, Winchester could fill a grinder role on the third or fourth line should he make the team.
Another day, another questionable shot to the head by an NHL player. This time, its Dane Byers landing a shoulder/elbow to the head of Sharks center Andrew Desjardins only three minutes into the second period of Columbus’ game against San Jose. Desjardins’ teammate Bard Winchester immediately came to his aid by trying to punch Byers in the face and Byers received a match penalty for “intent to injure,” but the stiffer punishment could come from Brendan Shanahan in the coming days.
Unfortunately, Desjardins headed to the locker room and did not return for the final 17 minutes of the first period. For Byers’ part, he was playing in his fifth game this season and the 11th contest of his career. In 11 games though, he’s already been suspended once by the league for an illegal hit in 2009 while a member of the New York Rangers.
That’s right—he’s only played 11 career games and his current five game stretch for the Blue Jackets is his first cup of coffee in the NHL since 2009; yet he’s still a “repeat offender.”
Take a look at the hit and let us know what you think. Do you think Byers deserves a suspension? If so, how long should he be forced to sit? The comment section beckons…