Mike Halford

Jiri Hudler
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Welcome Jiri Hudler to the trade rumor mill

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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.

Flames also disagree with Wideman suspension, say hit was ‘unintentional and accidental’

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Looks like the Calgary Flames are in lockstep with the NHLPA in their views of the Dennis Wideman suspension.

Not long after the players’ union confirmed it was appealing Wideman’s 20-game ban for hitting linesman Don Henderson during a game last week, the Flames released a statement of their own, through team president Brian Burke:

“We disagree with the severity of today’s suspension ruling and maintain that Dennis’ collision with the linesman was unintentional and accidental.

“We agree that our officials’ safety and well-being is of extreme importance in order to allow them to perform their duties. They perform an invaluable but underappreciated role in our game. We support sanctions against players who make deliberate contact with any official.

“However, unintentional and accidental contact does occur at times in our game. We will have no further comment on the matter at this time.”

This story has taken the league by storm today, and it’s unlikely to go away anytime soon. There’s been no timetable set for Wideman’s appeal hearing but, in a late twist on Wednesday evening, the league acknowledged that, following the game in which Henderson was hit, Wideman was diagnosed with a concussion.

Of course, the league also pointed out that Wideman refused medical attention after getting hit by Nashville’s Miikka Salomaki — the hit largely believed to have caused the concussion — and remained in the contest.

Related:

NHL confirms Wideman was diagnosed with concussion after hitting linesman (Video)

NHL confirms Wideman was diagnosed with concussion after hitting linesman (Video)

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The Dennis Wideman saga took another turn on Wednesday evening.

In the video explanation for Wideman’s 20-game suspension for hitting linesman Don Henderson, the league revealed that — after the Flames-Preds game in which the incident occurred — Wideman was diagnosed with a concussion, potentially suffered on a hit he took moments before colliding with Henderson.

“It is accepted for the purposes of this decision that he was later diagnosed as having suffered a concussion,” the NHL explained. “However, that fact even accepted as true, cannot excuse Wideman’s subsequent actions.

“First, although he appears to get up slowly from being checked, Wideman skates steadily and purposefully to his bench, taking a half dozen strides to get there. Wideman also demonstrates his continued awareness of his circumstances and surroundings when, upon approaching the Calgary blueline, he raises his stick and taps it on the ice to alert his teammates that he’s coming off for a line change.”

The hit Wideman took — delivered by Nashville’s Miikka Salomaki — was judged to be a “hard, legal check.”

It should be mentioned that 1) there’s been no confirmation that Wideman’s injury was a direct result of the Salomaki collision, and 2) the league made mention of the fact Wideman refused medical attention while on the bench, and remained in the game.

The video:

Related:

NHLPA ‘strongly’ disagrees with Wideman suspension, will appeal