Mike Commodore

Columbus Blue Jackets waive Mike Commodore

It’s probably one of the most misunderstood photos in hockey, but when many people think of Mike Commodore, that image of him laying in bed wearing undies surrounded by money is the first thing they think of.

One thing that extends that photographic punchline is the fact that the Columbus Blue Jackets awarded him a swollen five year, $18.75 million contract in the summer of 2008. His salary from season to season varies, but his $3.75 million annual cap hit only seems to vary from “overpriced” to “embarrassing.”

Commodore’s play has been a bit lacking lately so the Blue Jackets started scaling back his minutes. The man with a ginger afro asked for a trade this week, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the team decided to place him on waivers today, according to the Columbus Post-Dispatch.

As usual, there are a few possibilities for this situation.

Clubs have until noon Friday to claim Commodore, who’s signed through the 2012-13 season with a salary cap hit of $3.75million. It’s unlikely any club will bid on Commodore due to his big contract and his on-ice struggles.

Coach Scott Arniel has made Commodore a healthy scratch in seven of the past eight games.

Commodore remains with club and is expected to practice with the Jackets this morning. It will be interesting to see the Jackets’ next move. Will he stay with the club? Will he be sent back to Columbus while the Jackets play two games in Anaheim and Los Angeles? Will the Jackets sent him to minor-league Springfield and recall another defenseman?

Would another team be willing to claim Commodore on re-entry waivers at half price?

Half price for Commodore would be $1.875 million. A team that claimed him on re-entry waivers would be responsible for that amount through the 2012-13 season, making his deal even more challenging to digest.

Considering the struggles faced by Commodore, Wade Redden, Cristobal Huet and other overpriced players, it seems like the cliche “you get what you paid for” meets another cliche: “be careful what you wish for.” Signing that big free agent deal might be great for your bank account, but if a player cannot justify that salary, it’s possible they might find themselves in limbo. We’ll keep you informed about Commodore’s situation as it develops.

Fights, hits and a blown kiss: Stars and Blues get nasty

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Things were getting out of hand between the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues on the scoreboard in an eventual 6-1 Blues win.

They were also getting a little raucous on the ice when it was clear that the Stars weren’t going to stage a comeback.

Jamie Benn was whistled for cross-checking Alex Pietrangelo, but it was Stephen Johns‘ hit from behind on Pietrangelo really revved up the violence.

Watch that hit and then the scrum that ensued in the video above, which included a scary display of an angry Ryan Reaves … who got creative at the end.

You may also want the kiss alone, so here it is:

Memo: rough stuff might not work so well against the Blues.

Read about that blowout here.

Blues bombard Stars, go up 2-1 in series

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Sometimes a final score is misleading. In the case of the St. Louis Blues’ 6-1 thrashing of the Dallas Stars, it might just be the start of the story.

Honestly, the most positive thing the Stars can say is “Well, at least it was just one game.”

It was one ugly game, however, and now the Blues hold a 2-1 series lead with a chance to really take control if they can win Game 4 at home.

The Blues dominated just about every category on Tuesday, firing more shots on goal, enjoying better special teams play and throwing more hits. They even blocked a higher number of shots, which often isn’t the case for the squad that carries play.

This leaves the Stars picking up the pieces, especially when it comes to their work in their own end.

Do you put greater blame on struggling goalies Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi or is this more about the Stars’ lax defensive coverage? The scary answer may be “Both,” and the Stars likely know that they need to find answers quickly.

On the bright side for Dallas, it is just one game … and the Blues were searching for answers of their own after Game 1.

We saw the Blues turn things around with these two straight wins, so now the Stars must show that they can gather themselves and play the attacking, out-score-your-mistakes style that got them here.

Granted, they may have to keep an eye out for supplemental discipline after some rough stuff toward the end of the game.

Predators smash Sharks to get back in series

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After a dispiriting 1-0 goal allowed by Pekka Rinne, things were looking bleak for the Nashville Predators for a moment there.

Nashville’s developed into a resilient group, however, and they stormed back for a commanding 4-1 win to shrink San Jose’s series advantage to 2-1.

The Predators saw some of their big names come up huge as the series shifted from San Jose to Nashville.

Pekka Rinne looked sharp following that first goal (and didn’t allow another). Their goals came from James Neal, Colin Wilson, Filip Forsberg and captain Shea Weber.

Weber’s tally was the game-winner, and it was downright thunderous:

Another promising sign: after a struggling to a 2-for-31 clip in previous playoff games, the Predators’ power play went 2-for-5 in Game 3.

Overall, the Predators really couldn’t ask for much more from this win, especially if Colton Sissons is indeed OK after a scary crash into the Sharks’ net.

Things could get really interesting if Nashville manages to “hold serve” with another home win on Thursday.

Stars’ goalie carousel goes around again: Lehtonen replaces Niemi

Dallas Stars goalie Antti Niemi (31) subs in for goalie Kari Lehtonen (32) during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, in Dallas. The Stars won 6-5. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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It’s pretty tough not to make jokes about the Dallas Stars spending $10.4 million on their goalies at times like these, even if Dallas’ defense should shoulder plenty of blame.

After Kari Lehtonen was pulled from a Game 2 loss, the St. Louis Blues chased Antti Niemi early in the second period of Game 3 after Niemi allowed three goals on 12 shots.

Troy Brouwer‘s 3-1 goal was enough for Lindy Ruff to give Niemi the hook:

Unfortunately for the Stars, Lehtonen got off to a slow start as well, allowing an immediate Vladimir Tarasenko goal.

The Blues are now 4-1 and the Stars are searching for answers … and probably wishing Tyler Seguin was around to help them out-score their problems.