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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Slumping Oilers waive Lander

This morning, Brough touched on the struggling Edmonton Oilers, who lost their fifth straight game last night and are now barely above. 500.

Shortly thereafter, the club made a move.

Forward Anton Lander, who’s appeared in 16 of Edmonton’s 19 games this season, has been placed on waivers. The move comes with Lander having scored just three points in those 16 games, averaging 10:15 TOI per night.

(He was scratched for Thursday’s loss to L.A.)

The 40th overall pick in 2009, Lander has enjoyed some good times in Edmonton, most notably during the ’14-15 campaign when he scored 20 points in 38 games.

The Oilers locked him into a two-year, $1.97 million extension that summer — good for an average annual cap hit of $985,000 — but Lander struggled in year one of the deal, scoring just three points in 61 games last season.

Should he clear waivers, the 25-year-old Swede — a veteran of over 200 NHL contests — could be off to the Oilers’ AHL affiliate in Bakersfield.

 

Welcome Ryan Murphy to the trade rumor mill

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We’ve written quite a bit about Carolina’s blueline this season — first, the high expectations for what looked like a promising young group, then, how badly things went through the opening month.

Now, another angle to cover: Trade talk!

From TSN’s Darren Dreger:

[Ryan Murphy] doesn’t seem to be a fit for Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters. Murphy’s name has been used as trade bait for months, but now the Canes are actively shopping him. With a salary of $750,000 this year and $825,000 next season, the 23-year-old, right-shot defenceman will likely be on the move.

The Hurricanes were among the clubs most interested in Anaheim’s Cam Fowler before Hampus Lindholm signed his extension, so clearly Carolina is hoping to upgrade its blueline and would include Murphy as part of a deal.

Murphy, a former first-round pick, only recently returned to the ‘Canes lineup after missing time with a lower-body injury.  The return was supposed to be a boon for sophomore Noah Hanifin, who’s struggled to find a consistent d-man partner this year after playing extended lengths of time with Murphy last season.

What’s more, Peters said Murphy’s presence in the lineup would make an impact.

“He’s a valuable guy,” Peters said, per the ‘Canes website. “He’s a puck-mover, and we’ve had a hard time moving the puck out of our zone in transition.”

Things haven’t exactly panned out for either party thus far. In just four games played, Murphy’s averaging a meager 13 minutes per night, and has just one point.

That said, Murphy could have some value across the league. He’s a right-handed shot, which is vital, and a good skater with nice passing vision. Injuries have been a problem throughout his four-year career, though, and he’s never played more than 48 games in a single season.

In the big picture, it looks like Carolina GM Ron Francis wants a mulligan on his plan for the defense. He’s already cut ties with stopgap signing Jakub Nakladal, and waiver wire pickup Klas Dahlbeck has been in and out of the lineup.

Those two were chosen in favor of young prospects Roland McKeown and Haydn Fleury, both of whom are currently with AHL Charlotte.

Craig Anderson’s wife diagnosed with nasopharyngeal carcinoma

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On Friday, Craig and Nicholle Anderson released a joint statement — through the Ottawa Senators — updating Nicholle’s health status following her cancer diagnosis last month.

From the Sens:

Nicholle has been diagnosed with nasopharyngeal carcinoma. The treatment for this will require both chemotherapy and radiation, which will take place at Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Centre in New York. She has already begun treatments and will continue these under the watchful eyes of the tremendous medical staff there.

Additionally, we felt it important to thank both the Philadelphia Flyers organization for helping set up the initial screening with our oncologist in the Lehigh Valley and the Ottawa Senators Foundation for its assistance. We cannot thank you enough for your generosity.

In the same statement, the Andersons asked for “discretion in allowing both of us to take on this challenge privately,” adding that any updates regarding Nicholle’s health would be sent through the Senators organization.

Anderson didn’t dress for last night’s 5-1 loss to the Senators, as Mike Condon played while Andrew Hammond served as the backup. Despite that, Sens head coach Guy Boucher expressed optimism about Anderson’s availability moving forward.

From the Sun:

Boucher also said that there was good news in terms of Anderson’s availability. The club originally believed the club’s goaltender would be spending considerable time away from the team after his wife, Nicholle, was diagnosed with cancer, but Boucher is now optimistic that Anderson will be around the team more often.

Anderson has been very solid for the Sens this year, going 8-3-1 with a .934 save percentage and 2.12 GAA.

Richardson broke tibia, fibula in collision with Tryamkin (Updated)

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The injury Arizona forward Brad Richardson suffered in last night’s OT loss to the Canucks is a serious one.

Per TSN, Richardson broke both his tibia and fibula in a second period collision with Vancouver d-man Nikita Tryamkin, and will undergo surgery today.

Right from the moment the hit happened, it was clear something was significantly wrong — Richardson was in a massive amount of pain and, when his right leg was stabilized on a pillow, he screamed out in anguish.

Following the contest, Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett said he expected to know more about Richardson’s status today, but believed “we’re looking at a pretty significant injury.”

Richardson, a former Canuck, is in his second year with Arizona after scoring a career-high 31 points in ’15-16. He was off to a very good start this year — five goals and nine points through 16 games — while averaging 15:21 TOI per night, so his presence will certainly be missed.

As for Tryamkin? Though the Richardson hit looked innocuous enough, he’s forging a reputation. It was his hit that knocked Detroit’s Andreas Athanasiou out of action last week and, in the game following the Detroit tilt, Tryamkin had a big, noteworthy hit on Dallas captain Jamie Benn.

Update: The Coyotes released a statement…

Lightning confirm Stamkos surgery, recovery window of four months

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Update: The Tampa Bay Lightning confirmed the bad news: Steven Stamkos underwent surgery and is expected to miss about four months.

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Huge development on the Steve Stamkos front.

Per TSN, Stamkos is headed to Vail, Colorado today to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a lateral meniscus tear. That procedure is believed to include a four-month recovery window, which would keep the Bolts captain out of the lineup until mid-March — at the earliest.

Looking at the Lightning’s schedule, that could translate into 50 man-games lost to injury.

Stamkos’ injury happened on Tuesday night, in a 4-3 win over Detroit. He scored his ninth goal of the season before exiting and, yesterday, Bolts GM Steve Yzerman confirmed the meniscus tear, saying Stamkos would be out “indefinitely.”

Stamkos has 20 points in 17 games this season.

The 26-year-old forward has a well-documented history with injuries. He missed more than half of the 2013-14 regular season with a broken leg, and almost all of last year’s playoff run while dealing with ramifications from a blood-clotting issue.