Mike Halford

Alexander Burmistrov
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Burmistrov becomes second Jet to be fined for diving this season


Alexander Burmistrov joined Nikolaj Ehlers as Winnipeg Jets busted for diving/embellishment this season — on Thursday, the NHL announced Burmistrov was fined $2,000 following his second infraction of the year against Arizona late last month.


Burmistrov was issued a Warning following an incident flagged by NHL Hockey Operations during NHL Game No. 131 against Los Angeles on Oct. 27.

His second Citation, which triggered the $2,000 fine, was issued for an incident at 7:45 of the third period during NHL Game No. 737 against Arizona on Jan. 26. Burmistrov drew a tripping penalty to Coyotes defenseman Michael Stone on the play.

Back in December, Ehlers was dinged $2K after an incident against the Red Wings. For Jets head coach Paul Maurice, that’s now two infractions towards his overall total; should he hit four, he’ll be subjected to a $2,000 fine of his own.

Rucinsky named Czech GM for World Cup; Prospal, Spacek added to coaching staff

St. Louis Blues v Calgary Flames
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The Czech Republic filled out its staff for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey on Thursday with a bevy of familiar faces.

Leading the way is 16-year NHL veteran Martin Rucinsky, named the team’s general manager. Having only retired from professional hockey last year, Rucinsky, 44, is relatively inexperienced in the world of front office work, but will have plenty of help at his side.

Former Rangers, Thrashers and Kings goalie Milan Hnilicka has been named assistant GM, after constructing the Czech team that finished fifth at the World Juniors last month. The Czechs have also brought aboard former Red Wings d-man and Detroit’s current director of player development, Jiri Fischer, as their head scout.

On the bench, the Czech Republic also added members to head coach Josef Jandac’s staff.

Chief among the new assistant coaches is a pair of prominent ex-NHLers: Jaroslav Spacek, who played 13 years with seven teams, and Vinny Prospal, who spent 16 years in the NHL (also with seven teams).

Jiri Kalous, a longtime coach in the Czech Extraliga and KHL, will also serve as an assistant, while Petr Jaros will be the goalie coach.

“World Cup takes place in Toronto and our opponents will be Canada and United States,” Jandac told the Czech Ice Hockey Association website, per NHL.com. “Therefore we have extended the team management with personalities who live [in North America] or have large amount of experience with local hockey.

“Prospal with Jaroslav Spacek had played lots of games in NHL as well as Martin Rucinsky, who finished his professional career just recently and is very close to all nomination candidates. Another member of the golden generation, Milan Hnilicka, will surely make good use of his experience he gained in the role of general manager of the Czech junior team. We allow for Jiri Fischer who is working for Detroit Red Wings to watch over preparation of the expected playing system of overseas teams.”

Welcome Jiri Hudler to the trade rumor mill

Jiri Hudler
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From ESPN:

The Calgary Flames are getting calls on pending UFA winger Jiri Hudler, whom I don’t think is likely to sign an extension.

The 32-year-old Czech scored 31 goals last season but has struggled with just six so far this season.

Still, for the right price he’d be a nice top-six add for a contender.

It’ll be interesting to see who’s in the mix for Hudler. Panthers GM Dale Tallon is on record saying he wants to acquire a goalscorer by the trade deadline and Hudler’s former team, the Detroit Red Wings, have struggled on offense lately (and were called out by veteran leader Pavel Datsyuk for it.)

Granted, this year has been tough for Hudler. After a very nice start — 10 points in his first 12 games — he slogged through November and December, but seems to be rounding back into form, with four points in his last four games.

Hudler’s in the last of a four-year, $16 million deal with a $4M average annual cap hit.

Emery released from PTO with Toronto’s AHL team

Ray Emery
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For the third time this season, Ray Emery has been released from a professional tryout contract.

On Thursday, the Toronto Marlies — AHL affiliate of the Maple Leafs — announced they’ve released Emery from the PTO he signed back in mid-December.

Emery, 33, was signed by the organization after injuries hit netminders James Reimer and Garret Sparks. He wasn’t able to secure much playing time, though, going 3-2-0 with an .888 save percentage and 3.00 GAA.

Prior to his time with the Marlies, Emery had been on PTOs with Los Angeles’ AHL affiliate in Ontario and, prior to that, on one with the Tampa Bay Lightning during training camp.


After heart issue, Gustavsson cleared to return to B’s ‘without any restrictions’

Jonas Gustavsson is ready to resume backup duties in Boston.

Sidelined prior to the All-Star break with an elevated heart rate — one that forced him to be hospitalized — Gustavsson has been given the OK by team doctors to rejoin the team.

“The final testing is complete and all results have been reviewed by the Bruins Medical Staff. Jonas has been cleared to resume full on-ice participation with the team without any restrictions,” the Bruins said in a release.

In a subsequent move, the club sent young goalie Malcolm Subban back to AHL Providence.

Gustavsson, 31, had a pair of surgeries in 2010 and 2011 for an abnormal heart rhythm when he was a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs. This latest issue occurred during a game against Anaheim on Jan. 26, in which he was forced to exit the contest after stopping 14 of 16 shots in the opening period.

On the year, Gustavsson has played in 15 games with a 9-3-1 record, a 2.38 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage.