Mike Halford

Carolina Hurricanes v Philadelphia Flyers

Emery released from Kings’ AHL team


On Monday, the Ontario Reign announced they’ve released longtime NHL netminder Ray Emery from his professional tryout agreement.

Emery, 33, had appeared in three games this season for the Reign, the AHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings. He caught on with Ontario in early October after spending the preseason with Tampa Bay, but failed to make much of an impact, going 1-1-1 with 3.30 GAA and .878 save percentage.

A veteran of nearly 300 NHL contests, Emery is best known for backstopping the Ottawa Senators to the 2007 Stanley Cup Final and, during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign in Chicago, going 17-1-0 with a .922 save percentage and 1.94 GAA, combining with Corey Crawford to win the Jennings Trophy.

Emery also made headlines by returning to the NHL after missing an entire season due to major surgery, a procedure in which bone was grafted from his lower leg and inserted into the ball of his hip.

Emery spent last year in Philadelphia, going 10-11-7 with a 3.06 goals-against average and .894 save percentage.

A-Mac’s Back: Flyers recall $30M man MacDonald

Andrew MacDonald

One of the most expensive players buried in the AHL has been dug up.

On Monday, the Flyers announced they recalled veteran d-man Andrew MacDonald from AHL Lehigh Valley, just one day after announcing fellow blueliner Luke Schenn would miss the next two weeks with an ankle injury.

MacDonald, 29, was waived prior to the start of this season and, upon clearing, was sent to Lehigh Valley, where he has 13 points in 23 games this year.

A veteran of nearly 400 NHL contests, MacDonald’s demotion made big news at the time — in large part because he’s in the second of a six-year, $30 million dollar deal with a $5M average annual cap hit.

At one point considered one of the NHL’s best bargains — he was a staple on the Isles blueline a few years ago while carrying a $550,000 hit — McDonald had a rough ’14-15 campaign with the Flyers, sitting as a healthy scratch on a number of occasions.

Following the year, he expressed his dismay with how things went.

“It was disappointing,” MacDonald said, per the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Obviously, it’s not nearly the way I envisioned things going and I was pretty disappointed in myself and my own play, and just felt like things kind of snowballed throughout the year and really just didn’t work out.”

MacDonald — who’s cap hit played a key role in getting demoted — failed to make a different mark on the organization and new head coach Dave Hakstol this preseason. That said, GM Ron Hextall recently explained the club would prefer to have MacDonald at the NHL level.

“Quite frankly, we’d like to get him back up,” Hextall said in late October, per Philly.com. “It’s a situation right now that’s partly out of our hands and his hands.

“It’s certainly not the way you script it. You don’t want to have a guy making a ton of money here. That’s not the way you plan things. Obviously, sometimes you have to adjust.”

Prust: $5K fine for spearing Marchand was ‘best money I ever spent’ (Video)


Not long after he was fined $5,000 for his Saturday-night-spear-to-the-groin of Boston’s Brad Marchand, Canucks forward Brandon Prust had an, ahem, colorful take on his punishment.

“Best money I ever spent,” Prust said, per the Vancouver Sun.

The veteran tough guy wasn’t done there, either.

“I think [Marchand] does that every night,” he added, per 24 Hours. “Sometimes you want to do it back, right? Just heat of the moment.”

The comments are likely to draw a reaction and probably some surprise — has anybody ever (publicly) said that about a fine? — but it’s hard to be overly shocked they’re coming from Prust (who’s in the last of a four-year, $10 million deal, if you’re wondering how much $5K affects him).

The 31-year-old has a long reputation as someone that likes to talk, and doesn’t mince words.

During the ’13 playoffs, he called then-Ottawa coach Paul MacLean a “bug-eyed, fat walrus” and, last postseason, was fined $5,000 by the league for remarks made about referee Brad Watson.

“He called me a piece of you know what, an (expletive), coward, said he’d drive me right out of this building,” Prust  said of Watson. “I wasn’t looking at him. He teed me up.

“That’s the ref he is. He tries to play God. He tries to control the game and he did that tonight.”

Report: Leafs to let Nylander, Kapanen play at World Juniors

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Two of the biggest prospects in the Toronto organization look as though they’ll be playing on the international stage this winter.

Per Swedish news outlet Sportexpressen (by way of the Toronto Star), William Nylander and Kasperi Kapanen — both currently playing with the AHL Marlies — will be released to participate in the 2016 World Junior Hockey Championships for Sweden and Finland, respectively.

Nylander, the eighth overall pick in ’14, is having a terrific AHL campaign with 26 points in 21 games, challenging for the league’s scoring lead.

Kapanen, taken 22nd overall in that same draft, has also been scoring at a good clip — nine points in 15 games. Originally drafted by Pittsburgh, he was acquired this summer as part of the Phil Kessel blockbuster.

Both players have participated in previous WJCs. Nylander scored 10 points in seven games at last year’s tourney, helping Sweden to a fourth-place finish while leading the team in scoring.

Kapanen also played in the ’15 tourney but had far less success, scoring just one point in five games for a disappointing Finnish outfit that finished in 7th place.

Related: Strome, Marner highlight Team Canada’s World Junior roster



Banged-up Blues lose another: Ott (hamstrings surgery) out three months


That “really disappointing” loss St. Louis suffered at home to Toronto on Saturday night keeps getting worse.

On Sunday, the Blues announced Steve Ott would be sidelined for the next three months after injuring his hamstrings against the Leafs.

The veteran forward was hurt late in the first period of Saturday’s game, in a nasty collision with the boards after getting his feet tangled with Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf.

Ott will undergo surgery next week, and will be re-evaluated at some point in March.

The 33-year-old had appeared in 21 games for the Blues this season, registering two assists while playing just under 11 minutes per night. With this injury, he’ll now be alongside Patrik Berglund and Jaden Schwartz on IR.

Paul Stastny, one of the club’s top centers, previously missed 16 games this season with a broken foot.