After failing to find work in North America, Jeff Halpern is headed overseas.
Halpern, 37, has signed a deal with TPS of Finland’s SM-liiga, the club announced on Monday.
A 13-year NHL veteran that spent time with Washington, Dallas, Tampa Bay, Los Angeles, Montreal and the New York Rangers, Halpern enjoyed his finest moments as a member of the Capitals prior to the 2004-05 work stoppage. He scored a career-high 21 goals in 2000-01 and a career-high 34 points in 2003-04.
In the later stages of his career, Halpern forged a niche as an effective penalty killer and defensive forward. Last year he split time between the Habs and Rangers, appearing in three of Montreal’s five first-round playoff games against Ottawa.
Last week, Halpern lamented to the Washington Post his inability to find a new NHL gig under the reduced salary cap.
“I still know I can play the game, it’s just whether you get an opportunity to prove that point,” Halpern told the Post. “I wouldn’t say it throws you into thoughts of retirement, but it definitely makes me reflect on a lot of points of my career.”
As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.
Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.
While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.
It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.
One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.
Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.
Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.
Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?
Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.
The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.
The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:
That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.
Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:
Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.
Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.