Matt Halischuk

Halischuk: “No one likes to miss paychecks”


We’re already in the third month of this lockout, but it could go much longer.

In an endurance battle, it’s easy to assume that the owners have the edge. Many of them made their wealth outside of hockey and can survive without the NHL. In addition, they are in a better position to think long-term while the players that can only survive in the NHL as long as their bodies will let them.

All the same, the players haven’t changed their tune even as the lockout costs them paycheck after paycheck.

“I think I feel more upset that we’re missing out on what we could be doing,” Nashville Predators defenseman Hal Gill said, according to the Tennessean. “Obviously you want to make a paycheck, but for the most part we want to be playing hockey. There’s no reason we shouldn’t be. That’s a frustrating thing. Not much we can do about it right now. We have to stand up for what we believe in and we have to stick it out and hopefully it doesn’t last too much longer.”

Gill is technically in the first season of his two-year, $4 million contract. He’ll turn 38 in April, so it’s not out of the realm of possibilities that this contract is his last.

His teammate Matt Halischuk is facing a very different situation. He was scheduled to make $825,000 this season, but at the age of 24 he’ll have to deal with the repercussions of the next CBA more than most.

“No one likes to miss paychecks,” Halischuk said, “but at the end of the day we’re looking to get a fair deal.”

Of course, it’s easy to voice a belief, but it’s harder to stick too it. We’ll see if the increasing threat of losing the season eventually causes the players — or the owners for that matter — to move from their current positions.


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Campbell’s perfect snipe sinks Wings in OT


Brian Campbell doesn’t score as many points as he used to, but he came up with a huge goal against the Red Wings on Sunday afternoon.

With the game tied, 1-1, in overtime, Campbell skated into the slot and beat Petr Mrazek with a perfect wrister to end the game.

It was also a pretty nice passing play between Jussi Jokinen, Jonathan Huberdeau and Campbell.

Dylan Larkin opened the scoring in the second period before Reilly Smith leveled the score with just over five minutes remaining.

The Wings have blown a lead in three straight games.

Detroit was up 2-0 and 3-2 in their last game, against Edmonton, before they finally closed the game out with an overtime goal by Niklas Kronwall.

They weren’t so fortunate against the Bruins on Wednesday, as they lost 3-2 in OT after leading 2-1 with under two minutes remaining in regulation.

This was the first meeting of the season between Detroit and Florida, but they’ll see each other three times between Feb. 4 and Mar. 19.

With Jonathan Bernier sputtering, we’ll meet Garret Sparks

Garett Sparks
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You can’t blame Mike Babcock for siding with the relatively unknown when the other option is Jonathan Bernier, a goalie who’s 0-8-1 so far in 2015-16.

With that in mind, meet Garret Sparks, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ expected starter for Monday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.

Sparks was a seventh-round pick (190th overall) in 2011, a guy who was off to a great start in the AHL. That much wasn’t lost on Babcock.

Let’s face it, though; this is as much about the Leafs’ other two goalies as it is about Sparks (whose name inspired a very obscure reference in this post’s headline).

In Bernier’s case, there’s an “enough’s enough” feel:

Meanwhile, James Reimer‘s not quite healthy enough to play yet, so the window of opportunity is open for Sparks … a little bit.

Sparks will get a chance to make an impression, even if it’s just a small one.

Video: Dylan Larkin adds to his rookie goals lead

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So far, the 2015-16 crop of rookies is living up to the hype, if not exceeding it. Connor McDavid‘s unfortunate injury hasn’t even derailed this year’s crop.

The Detroit Red Wings are watching their own blue chip blossom, as Dylan Larkin is making an instant impact.

No. 71 scored his 10th goal of the season against the Florida Panthers on Sunday, fattening his rookie goals lead.

He still needs five points to match rookie points leader Artemi Panarin, though.

Latest report leaves Carey Price’s injury timeline fuzzy

Carey Price
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There’s one thing we seem to know about Carey Price‘s injury situation: he first got hurt stepping on a puck on Oct. 29, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Contrary to earlier reports about him missing about a month, it sounds like his window of recovery is still up in the air (which, to be fair, could mean that he’ll still miss about a month when it’s all said and done).

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that Price underwent testing with Montreal’s team doctor on Saturday and is expected to go through more; we may not know more about his expected injury timeline until early this coming week.

So, basically, Price’s situation is fuzzier than his mustache right now.

Leg injuries can be tricky anyway, so we shouldn’t be too surprised that there are mixed signals regarding Price, and this may remain a fluid situation for some time.

(But we’ll hopefully know more soon enough.)