The NHL Department of Player Safety handed down a pair of two-game suspensions Sunday afternoon.
The first went to Ottawa’s Mark Borowiecki. He has been dinged two games for boarding Los Angeles’s Tyler Toffoli. When the hit took place Saturday, many put the onus on Toffoli for turning his back, but the DPoS notes the turn doesn’t happen immediately before or simultaneous with the hit. Borowiecki had plenty of time to not lay the hit into Toffoli’s numbers.
Helping keep the suspension to a minimum was the fact that Toffoli was not injured on the play and Borowiecki has never been fined or suspended during his career.
The second suspension of the day went to 6-foot-7 defender Jamie Oleksiak, who drove an elbow through the head of Philadelphia’s Chris VandeVelde in Saturday’s action. Some have defended the check as the result of his height, but the DPoS wasn’t having that excuse for contact with the head.
Oleksiak will sit two games for an illegal check to the head. The big factors keeping the suspension to just two games were VandeVelde not suffering an injury and being eligible to be legally checked, as well as Oleksiak having no disciplinary history.
Surgery for Domi
The Coyotes won their first game without sophomore winger Max Domi on Saturday, but it looks like they may be without him for quite a while.
Previously, Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic reported that Domi has been placed injured reserve and is considered week-to-week. Now Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos says that Domi is expected to have hand surgery and could miss up to six weeks.
The injury is the result of a fight with Calgary’s Garnet Hathaway. Domi is gaining a reputation for defending himself, but getting into the tussle is going to leave the team without their best forward for upwards of a month.
The Arizona Coyotes have claimed center Josh Jooris off waivers from the New York Rangers. The 26-year-old center has only found his way into 12 games this season, registering one goal and one assist.
Two seasons back he looked like a player on the rise after posting 12 goals and 24 points in 60 games. But those numbers slid to four goals and 13 points in 59 games last year. It’s been even worse this season.
Jooris can play a depth role, but his declining numbers in Manhattan are a concern. In two seasons with the Flames, he was roughly an even possession player relative to his teammates. But he’s plummetted to a -9.60% adjusted CF%Rel mark per Corsica. That’s a very small sample, but he has not been good in that small sample.
With #Yotes claiming Jooris, they are now $2.95M above the cap and staying compliant with the LTIR relief from Bolland and Pronger.
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) December 11, 2016
However, a change of scenery and fresh opportunity may help Jooris rediscover his scoring touch. The Coyotes biggest weakness is at center and the acquisition of Jooris and Peter Holland this week should help the ‘Yotes to start addressing those problems.
Pierre-Luc Dubois Traded
For a junior hockey move, this qualifies as a blockbuster. TVA Sports’ Mikael Lalancette reports the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the QMJHL have reached a deal to trade away star forward Pierre-Luc Dubois, the third overall selection in the 2016 NHL Draft.
He’s headed to Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, according to the report. The deal has not been made official, so what’s headed back to Cape Breton isn’t clear, but expect the haul to be significant.
The move is huge for the Armada, but could also be significant for Dubois. Since being reassigned to the Q by the Blue Jackets, Dubois has been scoring at a slower pace than last year’s 1.6 points per game. Through 20 games he has just 18 points (6-12-18). A bit of a reset could be good for the highly touted prospect. But before that happens, he’ll spend time with Team Canada at World Junior selection camp. Then he’ll help Canada go for gold on home ice starting Dec. 26.
A CWHL Milestone
The Canadian Women’s Hockey League’s all-time leading scorer hit an impressive milestone Sunday. Caroline Ouellette notched the 300th point of her career as Les Canadiennes de Montreal dropped a 5-3 decision to the Calgary Inferno.
— Les Canadiennes (@LesCanadiennes) December 11, 2016
It’s another feather in the cap of one of women’s hockey’s most decorated players. Ouellette is a four-time Olympic gold medalist who has captured gold at the World Championships five times, as well as silver another four times. She’s also hoisted the CWHL’s Clarkson Cup twice.
A Filthy Goal
Guelph Storm defenseman Ryan Merkley, a 2018 draft eligible skater, put in an absolutely filthy goal Sunday. The prospect also managed to do it in the first period of the team’s annual teddy bear toss.
Throwing thousands of teddy bears into the air feels like an appropriate response to a goal that pretty.
— Wes Clark (@WesEClark) December 11, 2016
Merkley and fellow 2018-draft eligible defender Rasmus Dahlin are going to be having a social media war for the next two years, posting ridiculous highlights en route to a high draft selection in the summer of 2018.
Odds & Ends
– Former NHLer Marc-Andre Bergeron is on the verge of inking a tryout contract with the Cleveland Monsters, AHL affiliate of the Blue Jackets, reports TVA’s Renaud Lavoie.
Marc-André Bergeron is on the verge of signing a PTO with the Cleveland Monsters (Blue Jackets farm team). #tvasports
— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) December 11, 2016
– Here’s a bit from captain Max Pacioretty on the impact Alexander Radulov has had on the Canadiens.
Max Pacioretty has sung the praises of Alex Radulov all season, but perhaps never as strongly as last night. Really insightful. pic.twitter.com/ADv5wQ61pV
— Аrpon Basu (@ArponBasu) December 11, 2016
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.