Meet Mike and Jason, Your New PHT Writers

17 Comments

Who are you guys?

Mike Halford and Jason Brough.

Where are you from?

For the last four years we’ve been at The Province newspaper in Vancouver running the Orland Kurtenblog.

Never heard of it.

Oh. Um, remember those pictures of the Blackhawks in a limo with their shirts off?

Yeah.

We published those.

And now you have a job with NBC?

Well, that’s not all we did. We also had a radio show in Vancouver. The show was on pretty late at night though. Half of it was just us playing old jazz records.

So…you’re Canadian?

Yeah.

Oh.

It’s cool, we’re fairly well versed in Americana, so we can speak to everyone. Just might need to brush up on certain things. Is George Clinton still the prime minister of the United States?

What should readers expect from you?

Our approach is fairly simple — we’re two guys who love hockey and having a laugh, and we try to reflect that in our work. We hope the readers will not only enjoy this approach, but also get in on the fun. Please comment, and comment often. For example, “Great blog!” Or, “I never thought about it that way! You make a very compelling point!” Or, “Leafs suck!”

Will Joe and James still be writing for PHT?

Of course they will. Not only do they know their hockey, they know where the office bathroom key is kept.

Do you have a favorite NHL team?

Well, we’re from Vancouver…

Great, you’re Canucks fans.

Yes, and we know that means 1) Most of you will already hate us, but not before 2) We come up with a series of elaborate conspiracies explaining why that is.

What do you have planned?

To make Pro Hockey Talk the go-to site for NHL insight and analysis. In addition to covering all the major news of the day, we’ll do our best to provide unique opinions and amusing takes on all things hockey. You might agree with us, you might not. You might have a chuckle, you might not. The most important thing is that you click on the advertising, which you’ll find on the sidebar.

So will you just be writing?

Glad you asked. No, we’ll also be producing some video, including interviews with NBC analysts like Pierre McGuire, Mike Milbury, Ed Olcyzk and Jeremy Roenick. Be sure to watch…as the videos will also have advertising.

Anything else?

Yes, please don’t ask us about the riot.

Forgot about that. That must’ve been embarrassing.

Yes.

Flames ‘likely’ to leave Brouwer unprotected: Calgary Herald

Getty
1 Comment

He turns 32 in August, and he’s got three years left on his contract with a sizable cap hit of $4.5 million.

He didn’t have a great playoffs either.

So we shouldn’t be too surprised to read that the Calgary Flames are “likely” to leave winger Troy Brouwer unprotected in the expansion draft.

From the Calgary Herald:

The acquisition of Curtis Lazar at the trade deadline for a second round pick came with a public assurance from GM Brad Treliving that Lazar was a reclamation project he planned to protect.

Thus, the list of seven forwards protected will likely include Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Mikael Backlund, Michael Frolik, Micheal Ferland, Sam Bennett and Lazar. First and second-year players like Matthew Tkachuk are exempt.

Brouwer had just 13 goals in 74 games for the Flames this season. He signed in Calgary on July 1, leaving the St. Louis Blues as an unrestricted free agent.

As the Herald notes, there’s no guarantee that Vegas will select him. But certainly, his old general manager from their days together in Washington, George McPhee, will give it some consideration.

McPhee gave Brouwer a three-year extension in 2012, calling him “a physical and versatile power forward who can play both wings. … He is a Stanley Cup winner and a great leader.”

Seguin undergoes surgery for torn labrum

Getty
Leave a comment

By all accounts, Tyler Seguin and new head coach Ken Hitchcock can’t wait to start working together in Dallas.

But now, they’ll have to.

On Wednesday, Stars GM Jim Nill announced Seguin had undergone shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum, per the Morning-News.

The Stars announced the procedure is followed by a four-month recovery period. Nill said that Seguin is expected to be healthy and ready for September’s training camp.

It’s a bit surprising to learn the 25-year-old had an injury of this significance. Seguin didn’t miss a single contest last year, marking the first time in his career he played a full 82-game campaign.

Related: Hitch wants Seguin thinking, playing like a No. 1 center

It’s a battle of red-hot goalies in Preds-Blues series

Getty
Leave a comment

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) No goaltender has played better this postseason than Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators, though Jake Allen of the St. Louis Blues came closest in the first round.

Now their teammates have to figure out how to score on these two stingy goalies if they want to advance to the Western Conference finals. (Watch tonight at 8 pm ET on NBCSN or the NBC Sports app)

“We have to try to solve Jake Allen and make life difficult for him,” Rinne said . “It comes down to me trying to maintain and try to be at my best. At the same time, of course, you’re going to look at the other side of the rink and the guy who you play against, you try to outplay him.”

Rinne allowed only three goals on 126 shots faced in helping Nashville to its first postseason sweep in franchise history. He shut out top-seeded Chicago twice on the Blackhawks’ own ice, becoming just the fourth goalie to win four postseason games with a goals-against average of 0.70 or less.

Related: Five impressive stats from the first round

When the Blues open their conference semifinal Wednesday night in St. Louis, they hope to take advantage of some inside information to solve Rinne. Carter Hutton backed up Rinne the past three seasons in Nashville, and the two remain close friends. That friendship is about to take a timeout for the duration of this series.

“He’s one of those guys that he’s a streaky goalie at the same time, so I think we have to do a good job of getting traffic and getting in there,” Hutton said. “But it’s going to be a battle of the goalies. We’ve got two of the best going at it here.”

Allen ranks just behind Rinne this postseason with a 1.47 goals-against average and .956 save percentage in leading the Blues over Minnesota in five games in the first round.

“He’s been our playoff MVP so far,” Hutton said of Allen.

Read more: A remarkable turnaround for Jake Allen

Longtime Habs assistant coach Jodoin resigns

Getty
Leave a comment

There was a changing of the guard in Montreal on Wednesday, as veteran assistant bench boss Clement Jodoin resigned from the club.

“Marc Bergevin and I regretfully accepted the resignation of assistant coach Clement Jodoin, who made the decision to end his long-time association with the Montreal Canadiens,” head coach Claude Julien said in a release. “At our post-season meeting, we offered Clement to remain on our coaching staff, but he indicated to us that at this stage in his career, he would be looking for a change and would like to explore other challenges.”

Jodoin, 65, first caught on with the Canadiens in 1997 as an assistant under then-head coach Alain Vigneault. He spent six years with the club until returning to coach junior hockey in the Quebec League.

In 2011, he returned to the Habs organization as the head coach of their AHL affiliate in Hamilton. One year later, he was back in the bigs in a familiar role — as Montreal’s assistant coach, working alongside Michel Therrien.

Montreal had no immediate word on who will replace Jodoin on Julien’s staff.