The NHL season just keeps getting closer by the day, bringing all the hot takes and insane preseason drama we could have possibly asked for in the process!
With all the NHL clubs waist-deep in preseason action, and junior clubs starting their seasons in the next handful of days to weeks, teams have started to thin out the herds a bit. Cuts have been made for a good chunk of the league, sending junior players that aren’t legitimately auditioning for an NHL role back to their current teams and minor league mainstays to their affiliates to get ready for training camp.
For the Avalanche, that meant a nice, hefty chunk of cuts to give head coach Jared Bednar a much more manageable group to work with.
For a full list of roster cuts and where they’re headed, check out our write-up. [Mile High Hockey]
A few other notable roster cuts made:
The Arizona Coyotes sent forward Liam Kirk to the OHL, where he’ll make his regular season North American debut for the Peterborough Petes this upcoming week after spending his entire career thus far playing in England. [Arizona Coyotes]
The Philadelphia Flyers have sent Morgan Frost back to the OHL, where he’ll look to improve upon his monster season with the Soo Greyhounds last year. After first joining the team as an undersized 16-year-old in 2016, he’ll play a fourth year in the major juniors before the Flyers give him an official look at the pro level. [Philadelphia Flyers]
The Chicago Blackhawks also deprived us of an elite hockey name by releasing camp try-out signee Shaw Boomhower:
In some signing news, Sam Reinhart inked a bridge deal with the Buffalo Sabres on their training camp off day, bringing the center back on board for two years and $7.3 million:
Buffalo has agreed to a 2-year, $7.3M contract with RFA Sam Reinhart.— The Point (@ThePointHockey) September 19, 2018
Reinhart finished the season on a tear, getting a ton of looks from in tight and displaying the skills that made him a second overall pick in 2014. pic.twitter.com/COjACFycFp
Here’s a breakdown of how the numbers match up to other RFA’s who took a while to come to terms on new deals. [Die By The Blade]
Finally, let’s talk about Max Domi, shall we?
Domi, son of former Toronto Maple Leafs goon Tie Domi, made his debut for the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday, one day after Alex Galchenyuk potted two preseason goals for Arizona on the other end of the recently-made trade.
While fast and far more talented than his father, Domi has continued to play the antagonist to prove it’s all still in the family - and during the preseason tilt on Wednesday against the Florida Panthers, decided to do this:
Aggressive start for Max Domi in Montreal. Drops Aaron Ekblad with a sucker punch pic.twitter.com/apVLRiWT9r— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) September 20, 2018
Domi, for what it’s worth, earned himself a game ejection for his troubles, but will still face a hearing with NHL Player Safety for the debacle.
Last year, the Avalanche were on the receiving end of a sucker punch, when Sam Girard got popped in the face by none other than noted fist-swinger Zac Rinaldo during a December game against the Arizona Coyotes.
Rinaldo, a notorious repeat offender, fell just shy of a 10 game suspension for his hit. Now, we get to take a guess at how many games Domi will get - because it’s not likely that he won’t see anything.
The biggest question, of course, is how to properly quantify preseason games. Giving a larger game suspension to eat preseason games could see an appeal made if Domi feels the number is excessive, and that’s a headache the league doesn’t want to start the season. They also don’t want potential traumatic head injury-causing hits to remain a part of the game, though, so they could make this one into an example for the year.
One thing is pretty clear, though; when Domi passes back through Florida later this year, Roberto Luongo is going to remember. [Sportsnet]