Mike Halford

during the NHL game at Gila River Arena on October 10, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona.

Oilers claim Clendening off waivers from Ducks

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Edmonton made a move to bolster its blueline on Wednesday, picking up d-man Adam Clendening off waivers from Anaheim.

Clendening, 23, is now with his fifth organization in just over a year. Taken 36th overall by Chicago in 2011, he’s spent time with the Blackhawks, Canucks, Penguins and Ducks — though he failed to appear in a single game for Anaheim before getting waived.

A right-handed shot with some good offensive upside — he had 12 goals and 59 points in 74 games in his last full AHL campaign — Clendening was always likely to be picked up on waivers. He’s still relatively young and carries a mere $761,250 cap hit.

Clendening should be in line for minutes in Edmonton. Brandon Davidson was placed on IR prior to the All-Star break with an undisclosed ailment, and the Oilers have rotated in a number of bottom-pairing guys throughout the season.

Report: Anaheim’s Stoner expected to plead guilty to grizzly bear hunting charges

Calgary Flames v Anaheim Ducks - Game One
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The long, drawn-out saga involving Ducks defenseman Clayton Stoner and a controversial grizzly bear hunt he participated in three years ago could soon be coming to a close.

Per CBC, Stoner is expected to plead guilty to some of the charges brought against him. He’s been charged with two counts of knowingly making a false statement to obtain a hunting license, and individual counts of hunting out of season, hunting without a license and unlawfully possessing dead wildlife.

CBC reports it’s unclear which charges he’ll plead to.

Charges against Stoner were initially filed last September, nearly two years after pictures of him hoisting a grizzly’s severed head first appeared online.

Stoner, who at the time of the hunt was playing with the Minnesota Wild, identified himself as an avid outdoorsman that “grew up hunting and fishing in British Columbia.”

In a statement released by the Wild’s PR team, Stoner said he conducted himself in a legal manner.

“I applied for and received a grizzly bear hunting license through a British Columbia limited entry lottery last winter and shot a grizzly bear with my license while hunting with my father, uncle and a friend in May,” he explained. “I love to hunt and fish and will continue to do so with my family and friends in British Columbia.”

But authorities had a different take.

From the Vancouver Sun:

The legal argument is that Stoner did not meet those conditions due to living out of the province as a professional hockey player. At the time of the hunt, Stoner played for the Minnesota Wild but joined Anaheim as a free agent in 2014.

“All five charges are directly related to the residency requirement,” [conservation office Detective-Sergeant Cynthia] Mann said.

Stoner came under fire in the weeks since the charges were filed. In mid-October, a group of animal activists protested outside a Ducks home game at the Honda Center.

Richards’ possession trial adjourned to late February

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 17:  Mike Richards #10 of the Washington Capitals looks on during a stoppage in play against the New York Rangers in the third period at Verizon Center on January 17, 2016 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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Mike Richards’ legal battle will go on longer than expected.

Richards, who signed with the Caps earlier this month and has appeared in three games, had his trial for possession of a controlled substance adjourned to Feb. 25 — after it had already been adjourned to Jan. 28.

More from CP 24:

Toronto-based lawyer David M. Humphrey said in an email to The Associated Press that government officials asked to push back Richards’ court date because it is awaiting the results of an investigation that was requested by the defense.

Richards is facing charges from an incident last June at a Manitoba border crossing, in which he was alleged to have brought oxycodone from the U.S. into Canada.

That incident led his former team, Los Angeles, to terminate his contract for a “material breach.” The Kings announced in late October they’d reached a settlement with Richards, making him an unrestricted free agent.

Richards, 30, inked a one-year, $1 million deal with the Caps on Jan. 6.

Despres (concussion) back for Ducks after missing last 42 games

at SAP Center on October 10, 2015 in San Jose, California.
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Busy day in Anaheim.

After the Ducks waived d-man Adam Clendening, then learned veteran forward Shawn Horcoff was suspended 20 games for PEDs, the club confirmed that blueliner Simon Despres would draw back into the lineup tonight for the first time since suffering a concussion in October.

“First of all, to have him back, when he’s at his best he was very solid for us,” Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau said, per ESPN. “He’s a big, strong-bodied guy. He can play lots of minutes. What I’m expecting from him today is just a simple game, get his feet wet and do the right things and not try to over do things on his first night.

“If we get that we’ll be very happy.”

The Ducks have been high on Despres since acquiring him from Pittsburgh last season, and inked him to a five-year, $18.5 million extension right at the beginning of this year.

Despres,who missed the last 42 games, is skating on a pairing with Sami Vatanen in advance of tonight’s game in Boston.

After seven-game absence, Scheifele back for reeling Jets

Winnipeg will get a crucial part of its lineup back in the last game before the All-Star break, as Mark Scheifele returns for the first time since Jan. 7.

Scheifele, who’s missed the last seven games with a lower-body ailment, was scoring at a pretty solid clip prior to getting hurt — 12 goals and 23 points in 37 games (his 12 goals are still tied for fourth on the team).

It’s been a forgettable season in Winnipeg thus far, but there is hope the former seventh overall pick (2011) can provide a spark in his return. The Jets are currently riding a three-game losing streak and will need to dramatically turn around their campaign if they have any hope of getting back into the playoff picture.

To make room for Scheifele’s return, Winnipeg put Mathieu Perreault on IR.

Related: Report: Jets, Ladd break off contract talks