Mike Halford

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

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Kings GM Dean Lombardi is reportedly looking at upgrades beyond Ben Bishop.

Per TVA, L.A. is trying to trade veteran winger Marian Gaborik with the goal of upgrading the active roster. The news comes with the 35-year-old only recently snapping a nine-game scoring slump, and fresh off a healthy scratch in Saturday’s 4-1 win over Anaheim.

Moving Gaborik won’t be easy.

He’s in the third of a seven-year, $34.125 million deal with a $4.875M average annual cap hit. It doesn’t expire until 2021 — when Gaborik will be 39 years old — and is one of the biggest albatrosses Lombardi currently has on the books (the other would be Dustin Brown‘s eight-year, $47 million deal, which runs through 2022).

Gaborik missed a bit of time this year to a broken foot, limiting him to 40 games. He has seven goals and 15 points, while averaging just a shade over 15 minutes per night.

There have to be major concerns about his decreased production over the last two years — since scoring 27 goals in his first full season in L.A., the veteran Slovak netted 12 last year and is only on pace for 10 this year.

If there’s a silver lining, it’s that Gaborik doesn’t have a no-trade or no-movement clause to hinder any deal.

Trade: Canucks send Hansen to Sharks for Goldobin, pick

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Just days after sending veteran winger Alex Burrows to Ottawa, Vancouver has shipped out another long-serving forward.

Hours after Jannik Hansen was made a late scratch for tonight’s game against Detroit, ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reported the Canucks were closing in on a deal to send Hansen to San Jose.

Per TSN, the Sharks are believed to be sending winger Nikolay Goldobin — the club’s first-round pick (27th overall) at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft — and a conditional fourth-round pick to Vancouver.

Update: It’s official.

“Jannik is a versatile, gritty player who plays with speed and is talented on both sides of the puck,” Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement. “We think he is a perfect fit for the style of our team, which has earned the right for us to make this move and add to our NHL roster as we push towards the playoffs.”

Hansen, 30, has been a coveted asset heading into tomorrow’s trade deadline. A versatile speedster that can score — 22 goals last year, 16 the year prior — he has one year remaining on a deal with a relatively modest $2.5 million cap hit.

Hansen, who has spent his entire nine-year career in Vancouver, had a partial no-trade clause, which called for an eight-team list to be submitted. Earlier, he confirmed that 6-7 teams on said list were playoff-bound clubs, with one being of the “personal” variety.

The Danish winger should be a really nice addition for the Sharks. He can play up and down the lineup, and will make the team even faster — something that’s of vital importance. San Jose head coach Peter DeBoer has mentioned on several occasions that he thought the team was fast last year… until it faced (and lost to) Pittsburgh in the Stanley Cup Final.

Hansen’s campaign has been derailed by injury, limiting him to just 28 games, but he’s since returned to health and was playing regularly prior to tonight.

Because this is the trade deadline, the price to acquire Hansen was steep. Goldobin has been a terrific scorer with the AHL Barracuda this year, with 15 goals and 41 points in 46 games.

“Nikolay is a gifted offensive player with good hands and good release on his shot,” Benning said. “His play away from the puck has improved this year in the American League and we believe with his skillset and continued development, he has the ability to become a valuable member of our team.”

As for the conditions on that fourth-round pick?

 

Video: Suter shaken up on Postma boarding major

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Some anxious moments for the Wild in the first period of tonight’s game in Winnipeg.

All-Star defenseman Ryan Suter was visibly shaken up and briefly left the ice after getting crunched into the end boards by Jets blueline Paul Postma:

Postma was given a five-minute boarding major on the play, but wasn’t ejected.

Suter was able to return to action (and was met with a chorus of boos from Jets fans), but appeared to be in discomfort. It appears as though he may have hurt his left leg.

With Postma in the box, Erik Haula scored his 13th goal of the year to give the Wild a 3-1 lead heading into the first intermission. No word yet if Suter would continue — on that note, it’s worth pointing out Minnesota came into this game undermanned, as both Zach Parise and Jason Pominville are sidelined with the mumps.

Goalie nods: As Nilsson trade winds swirl, Sabres give Ullmark season debut

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Netminding duties in Buffalo have been handled exclusively by Robin Lehner and Anders Nilsson this year but, tonight, a third goalie will get in the mix.

Linus Ullmark, the 23-year-old Rochester farmhand, will make his first start of the season when the Sabres host the Preds. Ullmark spent considerable time at the NHL level last season — starting 20 games — but was sent to the American League this year for further seasoning.

He’s played quite a bit, going 20-20-2 with a 2.90 GAA and .910 save percentage, and the timing of this start has raised some eyebrows. The Sabres are believed to be in seller mode heading into tomorrow’s deadline, and there’s been a lot of talk around Nilsson, who’s a pending UFA.

For the Preds, Pekka Rinne is the likely starter in goal.

Elsewhere…

Mike Smith returns from a two-game absence (illness) to start in Boston. The Bruins will counter with Tuukka Rask, who has won four of his last five starts.

— Marquee matchup on Broadway, as Braden Holtby and the Caps take on Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers. This will, of course, be Kevin Shattenkirk‘s debut in a Washington uniform.

Steve Mason will start for the first time in seven games when the Flyers host the Avs at Wells Fargo. No word yet on a Colorado starter.

— Another really good matchup in Montreal, as Sergei Bobrovsky takes on Carey Price in a battle of former Vezina winners.

Cam Ward gets the nod in Florida, looking to snap a personal four-game losing streak. He’ll be up against Roberto Luongo, who has also struggled lately. He’s allowed 18 goals on his last 139 shots faced, for a poor .871 save percentage.

Connor Hellebuyck makes his seventh straight start for the Jets, who host the Wild. Darcy Kuemper will give Devan Dubnyk the night off, after Dubnyk beat the Kings on Monday.

— No surprises for Edmonton, as the Oilers will once again start Cam Talbot for the NHL-leading 57th time. Talbot will face Jake Allen.

Matt Murray gets the nod for Pittsburgh, fresh off a 36-save win over the Flyers in Saturday’s Stadium Series game. It looks as though the host Stars will go with Antti Niemi.

— The Kings didn’t have a morning skate, but it’s possible Ben Bishop makes his team debut when L.A. takes on the Flames in Calgary. Jonathan Quick played last night against Minnesota and looked rusty in a loss. For the Flames, Brian Elliott gets the start.

— Petr  Mrazek looks likely to start for Detroit tonight in Vancouver, while the Canucks are expected to go with Ryan Miller. Jacob Markstrom is out with an injury suffered during Sunday’s Super Skills contest.

— Finally, Frederik Andersen faces an old foe as the Leafs take on the Sharks in San Jose tonight. Martin Jones will be in the other net.

Trade: Rangers, Sabres exchange AHLers

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Just hours after acquiring Brendan Smith from Detroit, the Rangers made another deal — albeit a far smaller one.

New York has sent minor-league defenseman Mat Bodie to Buffalo in exchange for forward Daniel Catenacci, the club announced.

Of the two, Catenacci has the more distinguished resume. The 23-year-old was Buffalo’s third-round pick (77th overall) at the 2011 draft, and appeared in 11 games for the Sabres last year, making his NHL debut in the process.

Catenacci’s spent all of this year in AHL Rochester, scoring 13 points in 50 games.

Bodie, 26, is an undrafted blueliner out of Union College that’s spent his entire pro career in the American League. He’s a good offensive defenseman, and sits 12th among all AHL rearguards in scoring this year, with 30 points.

Bodie has yet to make his NHL debut. If you’re looking for potential connections to a bigger deal, his acquisition does give Buffalo organizational depth on defense — which could be tested if GM Tim Murray ships out the likes of Dmitry Kulikov or Cody Franson.