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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One month after waiving him, Devils re-claim Boucher

Reid Boucher is back in New Jersey.

Boucher, the Devils’ fourth-round pick in ’11 that was lost on waivers to Nashville last month, has been re-claimed by his original drafting team.

Per NJ.com, New Jersey has confirmed the acquisition, and apparently the team won’t send Boucher to AHL Albany — suggesting he’s going to stick around with the big club for the time being.

For how long remains to be seen.

Boucher, 23, has bounced around plenty in recent months. He scored one goal in three games with the Preds, notching five points in five games for their minor-league affiliate in Milwaukee. That’s sort of been the story of his professional career — a really good point producer at the American League level, but one that’s bounced in and out of NHL lineups.

It’s not entirely surprising New Jersey wanted to get Boucher back in the fold. He did some good things for the organization, including a ’15-16 campaign in which he scored 19 points in 39 games.

WATCH LIVE: Blues-‘Hawks, Winter Classic from Busch Stadium

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The weather might not be perfect, but the 2017 Winter Classic is a go.

Rain has been falling in St. Louis throughout this morning and early afternoon, but that won’t keep the Blues and Blackhawks from renewing their rivalry at 1 p.m. ET from Busch Stadium.

You can catch the game on TV on NBC, or watch online using NBC Sports’ Live Extra.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Some relevant linkage for today’s affair:

Start time stays the same, here’s the updated weather forecast

What happens if it’s raining?

 

Coyotes claim Burmistrov off waivers from Jets

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Arizona GM John Chayka’s made a habit of acquiring low-cost, low-risk assets this season, and that trend continued on Monday.

Per Sportsnet, the Coyotes have claimed Alexander Burmistrov off waivers from the Jets. Burmistrov, 25, has long been a guy high on talent and pedigree — he was the eighth overall pick in 2010 — but one that’s struggled to find consistency at the NHL level.

He’s routinely been a healthy scratch for the Jets this year and, recently, expressed frustration about his lack of playing time.

“It’s tough, tough for me because I do not know why I’m not playing, you know,” said Burmistrov, per the Winnipeg Free Press. “I never have a conversation with the coach, so he never tell me why I’m not playing.”

Maurice, for the record, said there have been numerous conversations with Burmistrov — who has no goals and two assists in 23 games — and the Jets have reportedly been testing the trade market.

As mentioned above, Chayka does have history in trying to find diamonds in the rough (for lack of a better term). He previously snagged Josh Jooris off waivers from the Rangers, and gave up a seventh-round pick to pry Peter Holland out of Toronto.

It’s worth pointing out that Jooris, Holland and Burmistrov all play center. The Coyotes were thin at that position following Brad Richardson‘s badly broken leg, and the club has been rumored to be moving top middle man Martin Hanzal in a trade.

Burmistrov, who did leave the Jets for a two-year KHL sabbatical, is in the last year of a deal that pays $1.55 million annually.

 

Everything’s coming up Matthews!

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Nice little week for Auston Matthews.

On Monday, he registered a goal and an assist in a win over Florida. On Tuesday, he did the same in a win over Tampa Bay. Yesterday, he scored a pair of goals, including the OT winner, in a Centennial Classic victory over Detroit.

Today? He’s the NHL’s first star of the week.

All told, the Toronto rookie finished his three-game stretch with four goals and six points, pushing him into the freshman lead with 20 tallies — passing Winnipeg sniper Patrik Laine in the process — and points, with 32.

Matthews scored first star honors ahead of Rangers forward Chris Kreider (2nd), and Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (3rd).

Related: Auston Matthews is having a rookie season for the ages

‘Probably going to be changes’ in Colorado, says veteran McLeod

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We’ve written extensively on the tire fire that is the Colorado Avalanche — see here and here and here and here and here — and throughout, one question has always been asked:

When will GM Joe Sakic shake things up?

It seems like everybody watching this team anticipates some sort of move. And that feeling resonates within the dressing room, too.

“Anytime you’re dead last in the league, things aren’t good,” veteran tough guy Cody McLeod said, per the Denver Post. “Doesn’t matter what league you’re playing in — whether it’s baseball, basketball or football. There’s probably going to be changes — I have no idea — but we’re professionals and we’re paid to go out there and play hard.

“To a man in this room, everybody has to bring more.”

The longest-serving player on the Avs roster — this is his tenth year in Denver — McLeod could end up being one of those players shown the door. He was used plenty by former head coach Patrick Roy, especially last year, when he scored eight goals and 13 points while appearing in all 82 games.

But this year, his role has diminished under Jared Bednar.

McLeod’s only played in 24 of 36 games, was a healthy scratch on opening night and had his alternate captaincy taken away in the preseason. Combine that with his salary (two years left at $1.33M per), and it’s safe to suggest he could be shopped as the deadline draws closer.

The 32-year-old isn’t the only veteran that could be on the move. Pending UFA Jarome Iginla has already been asked about his willingness to leave Colorado at the deadline.