Today’s waivers: Halpern (Rangers), Crabb (Caps), Lee (Bolts) and of course, Boychuk (‘Canes)


Just a flurry of waiver wire movement on Friday, so let’s get right to it:

Rangers waive Jeff Halpern

Halpern, 36, has appeared in all 30 games for the Blueshirts this year, recording just one assist while averaging 9:10 TOI per game.

The veteran checking center was mostly used in a penalty killing role this season, averaging over two shorthanded minutes per contest. He also took the fourth-most faceoffs for the Rangers this year, and had the second-highest winning percentage (56.7).

Halpern signed a one-year, $700,000 deal with the Blueshirts last summer after spending last season in Washington.

Lighting waive Brian Lee

Lee, 25, had appeared in 22 games for the Bolts this season but hasn’t played since going minus-3 in a 4-3 loss to Montreal on Mar. 9.

His falling out favor in Tampa Bay coincided with the emergence of rookie defenseman Radko Gudas, and yesterday’s announcement that GM Steve Yzerman had inked highly-touted college free agent Andrej Sustr.

Lee’s in the first year of a two-year, $2.3 million deal — he has an average annual cap hit of $1.15 million. He’s minus-13 this season, and has failed to register a single point.

Capitals waive Joey Crabb

Crabb, 29, has appeared in 26 games this year, recording two goals while averaging 9:25 of ice time. He hasn’t played in either of Washington’s last two games — a 2-1 loss to Pittsburgh and a 4-0 win over Winnipeg — and has gradually seen his role reduced after briefly playing on a line with Alex Ovechkin.

The Caps signed Crabb to a one-year, $950,000 deal last July after his solid 2011-12 campaign — he scored a career-high 11 goals and 26 points while playing for Toronto.

‘Canes waive Zach Boychuk

You can read all about the strange saga of Boychuk here, because I don’t really want to rehash it again. Just know it’s the fourth time he’s been put on waivers in 50 days, and the second time Carolina’s waived him this season.

Campbell’s perfect snipe sinks Wings in OT

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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.)