Mike Halford

You've heard the expression "let's get busy?" Well, Mike Halford is a blogger who gets "biz-zay!" Consistently and thoroughly.

Tough times for Perry, who’s mired in another scoring slump


Corey Perry, a former 50-goal scorer and Hart Trophy winner, is going through one of the biggest slumps of his career.

One that’s essentially covered the entire season.

“It’s not fun, what’s going on,” Perry said of his scoring woes and the constant questions, per the O.C. Register. “I’ll tell you that right now.

“What do you think I’m going through?”

Here, numerically speaking anyway, is what he’s going through:

— Perry has just nine goals through 55 games this year.

— That’s put him on pace for 13, which would be his lowest total since breaking into the league a dozen years ago.

— He’s had goalless droughts of 18 and 13 games already, and is currently mired in a six-game slump.

Unsurprisingly, the Ducks’ offense has sputtered right along with Perry. They currently sit just 22nd in the NHL in goals per game, and have scored just four times in their last three contests.

Head coach Randy Carlyle said he’s talked “numerous times” to Perry about making tweaks and adjustments in his game, and noted that Perry’s responded accordingly — but the goals have yet to come.

So all parties involved have patience.

But one wonders when it might wear thin.

The Ducks could certainly use some help at forward, at least in terms of putting pucks in the net, so perhaps this situation could come to a head at the trade deadline — which is just weeks away.

Related: Is Anaheim readying to move a defenseman?

In statement, Julien gives thanks for ’10 unforgettable years in Boston’


Just days after his dismissal, former Bruins head coach Claude Julien released his first public statement on the matter.

Here’s the release, per the Boston Globe:

“I would like first and foremost to thank the Bruins organization for allowing my family and I the privilege of spending 10 unforgettable years in Boston. We were proud to call this great city home for so long and will dearly miss it.

“To the players, past and present, medical and equipment staff, doctors and communications staff, all of whom worked hard for the success of our club with a team-first mentality, I cannot thank you enough for your commitment through it all.

“From the game day security crew to the volunteers that I was fortunate enough to meet throughout the years, I thank you as well.

“I certainly cannot sign off without thanking the people that made this time here so rewarding- the Boston Bruins fans. Your devotion, unmistakable passion, energy and support is what makes Boston the best sports city in the entire world!

“In leaving this organization, what I’m most happy about and most proud of is being part of the team that brought the Stanley Cup back to Boston for the first time in 39 years. Sharing that journey and the Stanley Cup celebrations with our players, families, staff and our fans produced so many incredible memories that I will never forget. To all that were part of it and helped along the way, I want to express a heartfelt ‘thank you.’”

At the time of his firing, Julien was the NHL’s longest-tenured bench boss. In addition to capturing the aforementioned Stanley Cup, he also won the 2009 Jack Adams Award as the league’s top coach, and leaves as the B’s all-time leader in wins.

Related: What’s next for Julien?

Jiggs McDonald to call first Kings game in 45 years


Thursday’s Kings-Panthers game in Florida will be a special one for Jiggs McDonald.

McDonald, the legendary play-by-play man and winner of the Hockey Hall of Fame’s Foster Hewitt Award, will return to the Kings’ booth for the first time since 1972 to call tomorrow’s game, alongside color commentator Jim Fox.

More, from the club:

McDonald is the “Original Voice of the LA Kings,” working in Los Angeles from 1967-72 during the club’s very first five seasons. He called the club’s first preseason game, first regular season game and first playoff game. His first Kings game in 1967 was also his first NHL game.

He has also worked as a club broadcaster for the Atlanta Flames, Florida Panthers and the New York Islanders, totaling more than 3,000 contests. In 1990 he was the recipient of the Foster Hewitt Award, which is recognized by a plaque in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto and he will return to Los Angeles for Opening Night as the 1967-68 Kings are reunited. He is one of three Kings broadcasters to be so honored along with Bob Miller and Nick Nickson.

In what is scheduled to be his last NHL game, McDonald will now have called a Kings game in their first year and again during the club’s 50th Anniversary celebration. He has also called at least one NHL game in each of the last 50 years.

McDonald, 78, is best known for his lengthy stint calling Islanders games, and being the play-by-play voice for three of New York’s Stanley Cup championships.

Grubauer could be Vegas-bound — not that he’s focused on it


Here’s someone to keep an eye on with regards to the Golden Knights:

Philipp Grubauer.

Grubauer, currently employed as Braden Holtby‘s trusty backup in Washington, could be in play when Vegas starts roster construction this summer. A pending RFA, he qualifies as a goalie to be exposed — Holtby will obviously be protected — and should the situation change, there’s always the possibility of Vegas targeting Grubauer in a potential trade.

There are connections in Sin City.

Vegas GM George McPhee was the boss in Washington when it took Grubauer in the fourth round of the 2010 draft. What’s more, McPhee hired former Caps goalie coach, Dave Prior, to oversee things in Vegas.

Prior has spoken highly of his former pupil.

“Philipp does things effortlessly,” Prior said, per the Washington Post. “That’s the talent that not everybody is lucky enough to be equipped with. He also stays between the puck and the net instinctively.”

Grubauer ticks several boxes for Vegas. He’s young (25), projects to be affordable (currently carrying a $750,000 cap hit) and looks as though he’s ready to audition for a No. 1 gig.

Currently in the conversation for the NHL’s best backup, Grubauer is enjoying a great season. He’s 10-3-2 with a .931 save percentage, 1.98 GAA and three shutouts.

Of course, Vegas speculation is just noise to the German ‘tender. His main focus is on the Caps.

“I don’t care right now,” Grubauer said of the potential to become a starter, per the Washington Times. “I’m just looking to help this team and win the games I play and help the team get the points. When Holts needs a rest, I’m confident that I can step in.”

Will Sens ask Phaneuf to waive NMC for expansion draft?

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From the Ottawa Sun:

What’s going to happen on June 17 is that the Senators and the other 29 teams will submit their off-limits lists of players the Golden Knights can’t snatch away. Basically, it will consist of either seven forwards, three defencemen and one goaltender, or eight skaters and one goaltender. All players who have a no-movement clause must be protected and all first- or second-year pros, as well as unsigned draft choices, will be exempt.

It’s widely believed the Senators will protect Cody Ceci and Marc Methot along with Erik Karlsson, and ask Dion Phaneuf to waive his no-move with the thinking Las Vegas won’t touch the latter’s hefty contract.

As it stands, Phaneuf’s modified no-movement clause means the Sens would have to protect him come the expansion draft. He’s the lone Ottawa skater that requires it.

But his contract could provide protection on its own.

In the third of a seven-year, $49 million deal, Phaneuf — who turns 32 in April — is due $7 million annually through 2021. Though the actual salary paid does decrease slightly at the end ($6.5M in ’18-19 and ’19-20, $5.5M in ’20-21), it’s still a truckload of money and, to be blunt, represents one of the more onerous deals in the NHL.

(In terms of cap hit, Phaneuf is the sixth-highest paid blueliner in the league — ahead of fellow Sens d-man and two-time Norris winner Karlsson.)

This isn’t to say Phaneuf is having a bad year, or isn’t still a top-four guy. He’s on pace for 32 points, and could hit double digits in goals for the first time in five years. He’s also logging a healthy 22:57 TOI per night for the Sens and, as one of the alternate captains, serves an important role in the leadership group.

Despite that, logic suggests Vegas would pass on Phaneuf. And Ottawa brass could ensure that happens by, say, offering Vegas a pick or asset in exchange for not taking him.

But on a larger scale, this kind of move is something to keep an eye on. Chances are more teams might go this route, or at least down a similar path.