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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Report: Ailing Stars to sign Korpikoski (Updated)

Desperate for depth up front, Dallas may have found an answer — per Finnish news outlet Iltalehti, veteran Lauri Korpikoski is close to signing with the Stars.

Korpikoski, 30, is barely removed from participating in Calgary’s camp on a PTO (his release came on Sunday). A participant with Team Finland at the recently-wrapped World Cup of Hockey, he’s coming off a moderately productive campaign in Edmonton, during which he scored 10 goals and 22 points in 71 games.

This move comes with Dallas dealing with a depleted forward group. Mattias Janmark is out 5-6 months following knee surgery, Cody Eakin is sidelined with a knee ailment, Ales Hemsky is dealing with a groin problem and Tyler Seguin is still recovering from a hairline fracture in his heel.

Also, Valeri Nichushkin signed in the KHL.

The Stars had previously tried to address their issues up front by bringing in Justin Fontaine on a PTO after he was dropped by Florida. That move didn’t work out, though, as the Stars released Fontaine yesterday.

Update: Dallas has made it official. One year, $1 million for Korpikoski.

 

Blues release veteran d-man Weber from PTO

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Mike Weber, the last of several experienced skaters attending Blues camp on a tryout basis, has been released from his contract, the club announced on Friday.

Weber, 28, caught on with the Blues after splitting last season between Buffalo and Washington. He, along with Eric Nystrom, Chris Porter and T.J. Galiardi all attended St. Louis’ camp on PTOs — none of them were able to secure contracts, however.

To be fair, the Blues roster was a tough one to crack, especially on defense.

Weber was looking to work his way into a group that features Jay Bouwmeester, Alex Pietrangelo, Colton Parayko, Kevin Shattenkirk, Joel Edmundson, Roberto Bortuzzo, Carl Gunnarsson and Petteri Lindbohm. Jordan Schmaltz, the 25th overall pick in 2012, was also knocking at the door.

Speaking of Schmaltz, his time with the Blues came to an end today as well. GM Doug Armstrong sent the North Dakota product to AHL Chicago, along with forwards Kenny Agostino, Ivan Barbashev and Samuel Blais, and goaltender Jordan Binnington.

Oilers cut Reinhart from camp, making trade with Isles look even worse

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Tough day for Griffin Reinhart, but perhaps an even tougher day for Edmonton.

On Friday, the Oilers announced they’ve sent former No. 4 overall pick to AHL Bakersfield — despite the fact Edmonton still has 29 players left at camp, nine of them d-men, and one exhibition game remaining.

Translation: Reinhart wasn’t even one of the last guys cut.

Reinhart, 22, was acquired from the Isles at the 2015 draft and only appeared in 29 games for Edmonton last year, scoring just one point. There was hope his second season with the Oilers would be a step forward but, through the preseason, he struggled to show any signs of improved form.

“The coaching staff was dumb enough to start him on the right side in his first game and not give him any type of confidence,” head coach Todd McLellan said following an exhibition loss to Vancouver, per CHED 630 radio. “We’re going to put him on the left side and let him play.

“Obviously, his performance the other night wasn’t what he hoped it would be.”

As mentioned in the headline, the Reinhart trade is shaping up to be a complete bust for the Oilers. They gave the Islanders the 16th and 33rd picks at the draft, and the Isles used those picks to select Mathew Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier (moving up from 33 to 28 to snag the latter).

As Brough wrote yesterday, both Barzal and Beauvillier are still in Islanders camp, and have a realistic shot of making the team when the season opens next week.

‘Canes lose d-man Murphy (lower body) for 3-4 weeks

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This summer, we profiled two of Carolina’s brightest young blueline prospects — Roland McKeown and Haydn Fleury — and their quest to make the Hurricanes this season.

Well, both their chances just increased a bit.

Ryan Murphy, who’s appeared in over 120 games for the ‘Canes over the last three years, has suffered a lower-body injury and will miss the next 3-4 weeks, per the News & Observer.

The 12th overall pick in 2011, Murphy has dealt with a number of health issues since making his NHL debut, which has resulted in him never playing more than 48 games in a single season. While the ‘Canes aren’t writing him off or anything, it will be interesting to see what happens with him moving forward.

Do remember that Murphy was one of the highest picks from a previous regime — Jim Rutherford was the GM at the time, and Paul Maurice was the coach.

So, back to the present.

Here’s what the ‘Canes lined up on defense ahead of tonight’s game versus Washington:

That’s not far off what the opening-night lineup could resemble, with Fleury being the No. 7 guy. That said, another prospect — Trevor Carrick, a fourth-round pick in 2012 — could also be in the mix, as he’s still on the active roster.

Report: Sharks, Burns have started contract extension talks

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According to a CSN Bay Area source, the San Jose’s begun negotiations with prized defenseman Brent Burns.

More:

Sharks general manager Doug Wilson doesn’t comment on contract negotiations, and Burns’ agent is also keeping mum with one week to go until the start of the regular season, although there have been talks between the two sides according to a source.

Burns, though, painted a slightly hazier picture than [Sharks head coach Peter] DeBoer. Here’s the back-and-forth with him after Thursday’s skate:

You’re going into the last year of your deal here, does that weigh on your mind at all?

Burns: “No, I don’t really think about it, to be honest.”

Are you involved in the process?

Burns: “Yeah. Pretty involved.”

Burns, 31, is heading into the last of a five-year, $28.8 million deal with a $5.76M average annual cap hit. He’ll undoubtedly get a raise with his new contract, as he’s really come into his own over the last few seasons.

Especially last season.

Burns scored a career-high 27 goals and 75 points in ’15-16, and was named a Norris finalist for the first time. He also racked up 24 points in 24 playoff games, playing a huge role in San Jose’s first-ever Stanley Cup Final appearance.

That spring-boarded Burns onto Team Canada at the World Cup, where he finished with three points in six games.

In terms of comparables, one would think Burns could haul in Dustin Byfuglien money — by that we mean the five-year, $38 million pact Big Buff signed with the Jets this past spring. That deal carries an average annual value of $7.6 million, making Byfuglien one of the highest-paid rearguards in the NHL.

Of course, we have no idea if Burns is angling for that kind of money — but one thing is certain. Both he and the Sharks want to get the deal done sooner rather than later because, as a pending UFA, the distraction of going without a contract can be intense.