Author: Mike Halford

Tampa Bay Lightning v Detroit Red Wings - Game Three

Bruins in talks with veteran d-man Zidlicky


Per TVA, Boston GM Don Sweeney said he’s had discussions about bringing defenseman Marek Zidlicky to Boston.

Zidlicky, 38, split last year between New Jersey and Detroit, and showed relatively well upon getting dealt to the playoff-bound Wings. He had 11 points in 21 regular season games — averaging over 18 minutes a night — but was a bit of a disappointment in the playoffs, going scoreless in the first six games of the Tampa Bay series before missing Game 7 with an injury.

The former Wild and Predators blueliner has played each of the last two seasons on one-year, $3 million deals with an additional $1M in performance bonuses.

In Boston, Zidlicky would provide even more veteran experience to a group that already includes 38-year-old Zdeno Chara and 34-year-old Dennis Seidenberg. He’d also fill some of the offensive and PP duties that Dougie Hamilton had prior to his trade to Calgary.

While some are clamoring for the B’s to go younger to fill the Hamilton void — like, say, still-unsigned UFA Cody Franson — Zidlicky would likely be a cheaper option, and one seeking less term.

Related: B’s among five or six teams in on Franson, who’s ‘sick of doing one-year deals’

Report: Haula seeking $1.2 million in arbitration, Wild countering at $775K


Here’s the latest on Erik Haula’s negotiations with Minnesota heading into Friday’s arbitration hearing, from the Star-Tribune:

The Wild is looking to pay Haula $775,000 next season and Haula is seeking $1.2 million, sources confirm. If the sides go through with arbitration and don’t settle before an arbitrator makes his decision, the arbitrator will choose his own number equal to or between the ranges after hearing each side’s argument.

Since Haula filed for arbitration, the Wild gets to pick the term. The Wild has opted for a one-year award, sources say.

The $775,000 would represent a pay cut for Haula, who had a $900,000 cap hit on his last deal, a two-year pact.

The speedy Finnish forward is coming off an uneven campaign. While he did post career highs in games played (72), goals (seven) and points (14), the 24-year-old was scratched for eight of Minnesota’s 10 playoff games. That was a far cry from Haula’s breakout ’14 playoff run, in which he scored four goals and seven points in 13 games.

All that said, Haula is one of the Wild’s best penalty killers, and the Wild had the NHL’s best PK unit a year ago.

Ex-NHLer Ling charged with battery, theft

David Ling in action

David Ling, a journeyman that appeared in 93 games with Montreal and Columbus during his NHL career, was arrested Tuesday morning and charged with battery and third-degree grand theft.

Ling, 40, was apprehended in Florida following an incident at a Miami Beach hotel.

More, from the Kingston Whig-Standard:

According to a complaint/arrest affidavit furnished to the Whig-Standard on Wednesday by the Miami Beach Police Department, when officers first arrived, the female victim was crying hysterically on the hotel room’s phone.

Police said she then hung up the phone and calmed down before speaking to police.

She told them she just had a verbal altercation with Ling, whom she said had been drinking and was jealous of other men giving her attention.

She said that the argument escalated and Ling became very aggressive and took her cellphone, passport and wallet out of her purse and fled down the hallway.

Following an attempt to retrieve her items, Ling became more enraged, yelling obscenities at her and striking her on the side of the head with a closed fist. Fearing for her safety, according to the report, she pushed Ling away causing a laceration on his cheek.

Ling last suited up in the NHL during the 2003-04 campaign — with the Blue Jackets — but was still playing professionally as recently as last season, splitting time between the ECHL and AHL.

He is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Aug. 4.

Habs GM hopes Semin will ‘bring his skill and his compete level’

Carolina Hurricanes v Detroit Red Wings

To hear Marc Bergevin explain it, it’s simple — to be successful in Montreal, Alex Semin needs to work hard, and do it consistently.

“We hope he’ll bring his skill and his compete level to Montreal,” the Habs GM said on Wednesday, per the Gazette. “If you don’t score — (and) it’s hard to score in today’s game — you have to bring something else to the table.

“So it’s either backchecking or stripping pucks or playing solid hockey. That’s what I expect from you if you don’t score.”

Expectations and Semin haven’t always meshed well.

After scoring a monster five-year, $35 million deal from Carolina in 2013, his game fell of a cliff; there were whispers the 31-year-old Russian became complacent (at, at times, lethargic) after getting paid. The fact he was in the elite $7-million-per-year club only added to the scrutiny.

So this summer, just two years after signing him, Carolina bought Semin out of the remainder of his contract.

As such, expectations are now significantly lower. Semin’s on an inexpensive contract in Montreal — one year, $1.1 million — and, given he scored just six goals in 57 games last year, any uptick in production will be seen as a positive.

As others have mentioned, there is hope Semin can rediscover his game with the Canadiens like Alexei Kovalev did a few years ago. The similarities between the two are obvious — Russian, mercurial, immensely skilled — and it is worth noting that, during the 2007-08 campaign, the 34-year-old Kovalev had a renaissance season in which he scored 84 points in 82 games, was named to his first (and only) NHL All-2nd Team and actually served as team captain twice that year, when Saku Koivu was out with injury.

Bergevin is hopeful Semin can have the same sort of revival.

“Obviously, things didn’t go his way in Carolina,” he said. “He’s going to have a chance to prove that he is a player that he once was and he’s still young at 31 years of age.”

Report: Rangers prospect Andersson headed to North America

ERC Ingolstadt v EV Zug - Champions Hockey League

New York draftee Calle Andersson — the son of former Ranger Peter Andersson — will reportedly leave Swiss side HC Lugano and play in North America next season, per the club’s website.

Andersson, who turned 21 in May, is coming off a very strong year.  He performed well as one of Lugano’s youngest defensemen, scoring 17 points in 30 games and another three in six playoff appearances.

He also boasts both good hockey bloodlines — his dad, in addition to playing for the Rangers, also suited up for Florida and is now Lugano’s assistant coach — and size (Andersson’s listed at 6-foot-2, 212 pounds).

The Rangers’ fourth-round pick at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Andersson will reportedly spend next year on a two-way deal.

While he may get a shot at some cameo appearances in New York, it seems likely he’ll be on his way to AHL Hartford for some seasoning.