You've heard the expression "let's get busy?" Well, Mike Halford is a blogger who gets "biz-zay!" Consistently and thoroughly.

Kings give another kid a look, recall AHL All-Star Brodzinski


Last summer, Kings head coach Darryl Sutter stressed that some of the club’s young prospects needed to make an impact at the NHL level.

And now it’s happening.

Following the recalls and NHL debuts of Adrian Kempe and Paul LaDue, the Kings have brought up Jonny Brodzinski from AHL Ontario, the club announced on Thursday.

Brodzinski, 23, made the AHL All-Star team this year and leads the Reign in goals, with 25 through 56 games. The former St. Could State sniper left school early two years ago to join the Kings organization, after L.A. took him in the fifth round of the ’13 draft.

As mentioned above, this recall is in lockstep with what’s developed throughout the year. Kempe, 20, was the club’s first-round pick (29th overall) in ’14 and has fared well since joining the big club, with six points in 16 games.

LaDue, 24, was a sixth-round pick in ’12 that — like Kempe and Brodzinski — fared well in the American League before getting recalled in February. LaDue has appeared in 15 games for the Kings, scoring five points while averaging 16:25 TOI per night.

Los Angeles is still technically in the playoff race, but sits eight points back of Nashville for the final wild card spot in the Western Conference — with just 10 games to play. As such, the focus might now shift to giving some youngsters NHL experience.

Brodzinski will have to wait for his, however. Per LA Kings Insider, it doesn’t look like he’ll play tonight, when the Kings host the Jets at Staples.



Wild prospect Kunin leaves Wisconsin, turns pro


Minnesota is getting one of its prized youngsters in the mix.

Luke Kunin, the club’s first-round pick (15th overall) at last year’s draft, is leaving the University of Wisconsin following his sophomore campaign, per the Star-Tribune. Kunin will reportedly join Minnesota’s AHL affiliate in Iowa on an amateur tryout.

Kunin, 19, is coming off a pretty successful campaign. He was the first soph to captain the Badgers in over 40 years, and led the team in goals (22) and points (38). That came after he captained the U.S. to gold at the world juniors, scoring four points in seven games.

Per TSN’s Bob McKenzie, Kunin will play out this year in the minors, and his entry-level deal will kick in next season. That means he won’t be with the Wild at all this year — regular season or playoffs.

As mentioned, Kunin is just one of the many talented prospects Minnesota has in the fold. Russian Kirill Kaprizov, Sweden’s Joel Eriksson-Ek and Kunin’s U.S. junior teammate, Jordan Greenway, all showed extremely well at the worlds.

Pushing for playoffs, Isles lose Strome to broken wrist

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Busy day in Brooklyn on the news front.

Just hours after recalling Jaroslav Halak from AHL Bridgeport, Newsday reported that forward Ryan Strome suffered a broken wrist, an injury that will likely end his season.

Strome, 23, suffered the injury during last night’s big 3-2 win over the Rangers. He exited after playing just nine minutes, and didn’t return.

Though he’s been something of a disappointment this season — he was parked as a healthy scratch under former head coach Jack Capuano — Strome still racked up 13 goals and 30 points in 69 games, averaging 14:36 TOI per night.

So it’s definitely a loss, and a fairly significant hole to fill.

Newsday’s Arthur Staple suggests that one of Shane Prince or Alan Quine will get the call to fill Strome’s up front. That could result in some line juggling and switching players from wing to the middle.

The Isles are just two points back of Boston for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, and are back in action Friday for a big tilt against the Penguins.




Sabres prospect Petersen named Richter finalist — will he sign in Buffalo?


On Thursday, the five Richter Award finalists for the top NCAA goalie were announced and — to nobody’s surprise — Buffalo draftee and Notre Dame product Cal Petersen was among the five.

Petersen, 22, finished the year with a 21-11-5 record, .928 save percentage, 2.14 GAA and six shutouts, backstopping the Irish to the NCAA championships.

Petersen’s focus is currently on making the Frozen Four. But once that’s done, attention will undoubtedly turn to the pro game.

Taken in the fifth round (129th overall) at the ’13 draft, Petersen has become one of Buffalo’s more prized young assets. GM Tim Murray addressed as much in a recent interview with WGR 550 radio.

“We like him, obviously a lot, as a prospect,” Murray said. “We like his body of work — love his body of work — as far as development goes. He can’t do anymore than he’s done to develop and become better.”

Murray wants to get Petersen signed and into the pro ranks as soon as his collegiate season is done, but does acknowledge Petersen could hold off, be patient and test free agency if he so chooses.

“The decision is going to come to him, his family and his representatives,” Murray explained. “But I think that our staff has done a good job with him. He’s been treated more than fairly by the organization and I think that’s what you have to do for young players. You have to have them have a want to be part of your organization.

“Hopefully that is there with this kid right now.”

Buffalo has only drafted two goalies in the last four years — Petersen, and Sweden’s Jonas Johansson (third round, ’14). Linus Ullmark, 23, has been up and down between Buffalo and AHL Rochester this year while Robin Lehner, 25, remains entrenched as the club’s No. 1.

It’s worth noting that Lehner’s a pending RFA, in the last of a three-year, $6.675M deal. So it figures to be an interesting offseason for Murray on the goaltending front.

Stars’ Janmark won’t play this season, and there’s a ‘question mark’ about next year


In a season filled with injuries, one of the biggest Dallas suffered this season was Mattias Janmark‘s knee issue.

The 24-year-old Swede has missed the entire season thus far, but recently resumed skating and practicing with the club. That said, Janmark confirmed he won’t play this year — meaning he’ll miss the entire 82-game campaign.

And what’s more, he might miss games next season as well.

“I think there’s a question mark (about next season), but we don’t know to what degree yet,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff, per the Dallas Morning-News. “He’s progressing nicely. He still has a ways to go, but I think the fact he is practicing now and has gone this far always gives a guy like that a better chance for next year.”

Janmark’s original injury occurred during the preseason, when he knee locked up in a game against Colorado.

“He had a small segment, approximately 21 millimeters by 11 millimeters, that became displaced and is locked in his knee,” GM Jim Nill said at the time. “It’s the bone and the cartilage, they both came off together.”

Janmark underwent surgery to correct the issue, but his recovery was plagued by a preexisting congenital condition called osteochondritis dissecans. Nill said the likelihood of a full recovery was 80 percent.

Losing his services was a big blow for Dallas. After surprising onlookers by making the team out of camp in ’15-16 — a “great story,” according to Nill — Janmark had a pretty successful rookie campaign, scoring 15 goals and 29 points in 73 games.

He also fared well in the playoffs, with five points in 12 contests.

Janmark’s contract situation complicates things. He’s a pending RFA, currently in the last of a two-year, $1.6 million deal with an $733,750 cap hit. The Stars would (presumably) like to keep him, but the uncertainty regarding his health might made negotiations difficult.