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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Leafs claim Griffith off waivers… again

Seth “suitcase” Griffith is off to join another team — a team he’s joined once already this season.

On Friday, the Leafs announced they’ve claimed Griffith off waivers, just two months after exposing him on the wire and losing him to Florida.

Toronto had originally acquired Griffith off — yup, you guessed it, waivers! — when the B’s cut him loose just prior to the start of the regular season.

The 23-year-old, who played under Leafs assistant GM Mark Hunter in OHL London, appeared in three games for Toronto this season, going pointless. Griffith had a bigger role in Florida — notching five assists in 21 games — but suffered a concussion earlier this month and, after recovering, was a healthy scratch for three straight games.

Per multiple sources, the Leafs are sending Griffith straight to their AHL affiliate, the Marlies.

 

 

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    After Allen’s horrific night, Blues call up a goalie (Update: Allen won’t travel to Winnipeg)

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    A new twist in the St. Louis goaltending drama on Friday — after a disastrous home loss against Washington, the Blues have recalled Pheonix Copley from AHL Chicago.

    Copley, 25, was one of the players acquired in the T.J. Oshie-to-Washington trade. He’s played well this season, sitting 10th in the AHL in wins (11) and ninth in both GAA (2.32) and save percentage (.920).

    To date, Copley has played in one NHL contest, coming on in relief of Jake Allen in a loss to Nashville last February.

    UPDATE (per the Post-Dispatch): There was additional drama this afternoon, as Blues GM Doug Armstrong said Allen wouldn’t travel with the Blues for Saturday’s game in Winnipeg, giving him a chance to “reset.”

    Copley or Carter Hutton will face the Jets.

    Armstrong went on to say the majority of Allen’s issues are mental, but insisted he’s still the club’s “long-term goaltender.”

    We’ve written plenty about Allen’s struggles this year (see here, here, here and here), and things hit rock bottom on Thursday. He was hooked by Ken Hitchcock after allowing two goals on three shots to start the game, but was sent back in just a few minute later — a classic Hitchcockian move, designed to give his goalie an in-game reset.

    But it didn’t work.

    Hitch was forced to hook Allen for good in the second period, after the Caps scored for the fourth time — on just 10 shots.

    Afterward, Hitchcock admitted his No. 1 netminder is a mess.

    “There’s a lot going on right now. … He’s kind of locked up mentally and he’s going to have to fight through this,” Hitchock said, per Lou Korac of NHL.com. “What we see at practice, we like. That’s why we put him in quite frankly.”

    To their credit, the Blues have tried to shake things up, like parking Allen and going with Hutton.

    Hutton has fared well in small stretches but, this week, he was given a chance to start three games in a row and bombed in the third, allowing five goals in just 23 shots in a loss to Ottawa.

    So, enter Copley. It’s asking a lot of him to try and turn things around but, at this point, the Blues are desperate and have to try something.

    Anything, really.

    B’s get Beleskey back from 23-game absence

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    The Bruins have lost three of their last four, and are looking for a spark heading into tonight’s game against Chicago.

    They’re hoping Matt Beleskey can provide it.

    Beleskey, who’s been out since Dec. 3 with a knee injury, will play for the first time in 23 games this evening as the B’s host the ‘Hawks at TD Garden.

    Beleskey suffered his injury in a game against Buffalo, in which he played less than six minutes before exiting for good. He’s been sidelined ever since, and will now draw back in what appears to be an energy role, alongside Dominic Moore and Austin Czarnik.

    The 28-year-old is no doubt ready to get his year on track. Beleskey had struggled prior to getting hurt — he had just two goals and five points through 24 games, and was made a healthy scratch back in early November.

    Stars’ Oduya re-injures ankle, out 2-4 weeks

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    It’s been a rough year for Johnny Oduya and, in particular, a rough year for Johnny Oduya’s ankle.

    On Thursday, the Stars announced that Oduya would miss the next 2-4 weeks after aggravating an ankle injury that saw him miss 10 games already this season.

    The latest setback occurred in Tuesday’s wild 7-6 win over the Rangers at MSG. Oduya exited midway through the contest and didn’t return.

    Oduya, 35, has only appeared in 36 of Dallas’ 47 games this season, but has been reasonably effective when in. He has a goal and seven points while averaging just over 18 minutes per night.

    Looking ahead, it’ll be interesting to see if Oduya actually finishes the year as a Star. If he’s able to get healthy and Dallas misses the playoffs — the Stars went into Friday’s action three points out of the wild card — he could be flipped at the deadline.

    Oduya is a pending UFA, in the last of a two-year deal that pays $3.75 million annually. He would likely garner some interest on the open market, given his veteran experience and the fact he won a pair of Stanley Cups with Chicago.

    Per CapFriendly, Oduya does have a limited no-trade clause. He can provide a list of 17 teams that he’d like to be dealt to.

    Minor-league team involved in rollover bus crash

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    The Columbus Cottonmouths, a Georgia-based team in the Southern Professional Hockey League, was involved in a rollover crash on Thursday afternoon while traveling to an away game in Peoria.

    Per the Peoria Journal-Star, the charter bus carrying the team crashed on Interstate 74 and all 24 passengers — players, coaching and traveling staff — were transported to hospital.

    More:

    Two had to be extricated from the vehicle and were transported immediately to the hospital, while the others followed later in another bus. Morton Fire Chief Joe Kelley said his firefighters had to cut out holes in the top of the bus to remove the two. The rest were able to get out on their own.

    Twenty-three of the bus’s occupants were taken to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center. Three were considered trauma patients and listed in serious condition, though OSF media relations coordinator Shelli Dankoff described their injuries as non-life threatening. The remaining 20 patients were not seriously injured. Some had already been treated at release shortly after 3 p.m. and were waiting for transport to their hotel.

    The Cottonmouths have since followed up with a release, confirming all players have been accounted for and that there are no life-threatening injures to players, staff or personnel.