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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No Myers, no Stuart – and of course, no Trouba — for Jets tonight

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Winnipeg’s defense will be undermanned this evening when it hosts the Capitals at MTS.

Already without the services of Jacob Trouba — who, as you may have heard, is embroiled in a contract dispute — the Jets will also be without Tyler Myers (day-to-day, lower body) and Mark Stuart (ditto), per the Winnipeg Sun.

To partially fill the void, Julian Melchiori has been recalled from AHL Manitoba.

Considered to be one of the club’s deepest positions last season, the defense has really thinned out this year. Winnipeg has leaned heavily on Dustin Byfuglien (averaging a whopping 28:36 TOI per game), while Myers and Tobias Enstrom are both over 23 a night.

Why?

Well, Trouba’s absence is a big reason, as is the integration of former first-round pick Josh Morrissey. The 21-year-old has been a lineup fixture thus far, but has seen his ice time managed by head coach Paul Maurice (Morrissey is averaging around 17-and-a-half per).

As for the rest of the blueline? Stuart, Paul Postma and Ben Chiarot have largely rounded it out, but have been used sparingly. None of them average more than 13 minutes a night.

Add it all up, and the Jets face a tall order tonight in Washington. The Caps got off to an uneven start this year but have rebounded recently with back-to-back wins in Vancouver and Calgary, where they found the back of the net a combined eight times.

Detroit brings back Frk, just 24 days after waiving him

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What’s old is new again for the Red Wings.

Martin Frk, who Detroit exposed to waivers — and lost on waivers — earlier this month, has been reclaimed, the club announced on Tuesday.

Frk, 23, was taken 49th overall by Detroit at the 2012 draft and emerged as a quality goalscorer at the minor league level. He had 23 goals in 29 games for ECHL Toldedo two years ago, and 27 in 67 games for the Griffins last season — a big reason why Carolina claimed him off waivers.

After snagging Frk, ‘Canes GM Ron Francis praised the youngster’s offensive production in the AHL, saying Frk “has been a goal scorer at every level.”

Of course, that never materialized in Carolina.

The ‘Canes gave Frk his NHL debut earlier this month and dressed him for a subsequent game as well. Even though the two-game sample size was small, it was apparently more than enough to decide he wasn’t ready.

On Monday, the ‘Canes put Frk back on waivers.

Don’t expect to see Frk in Detroit anytime soon. Though the club did re-acquire him, it also immediately dispatched him to AHL Grand Rapids.

 

After missing five of first seven games, Murray back for Jackets

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Columbus will get a big piece of its defense back on Tuesday, as Ryan Murray will suit up for the first time in four games when the Jackets host Dallas.

Murray, out since Oct. 21 with a head injury following a hit from Chicago d-man Brent Seabrook, had also missed time earlier in the season with a lower-body ailment after blocking a Brad Marchand shot in Columbus’ season-opener against Boston.

Injuries are a recurring theme for Murray.

The 23-year-old, taken second overall by Columbus in 2012, missed a ton of time over his first two professional campaigns, though rebounded nicely to appear in all 82 contests for Columbus last season (finishing with 25 points).

This fall, he represented Team North America at the World Cup of Hockey, along with fellow Blue Jackets d-man Seth Jones.

When healthy, Murray is a vital cog in the Columbus defense. He averaged nearly 23 minutes per game last season and features prominently on the power play.

As such, his return will be a welcome one for the Blue Jackets, who have performed reasonably well after getting off to an 0-2 start. They’re 3-1-1 in their last five, which includes an impressive 4-0 shutout win in Anaheim on Friday night.

A big reason for that success? The play of Sergei Bobrovsky, who has been excellent — and busy — for the Jackets.

Cap-strapped Wild recall three

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Yesterday we passed along news about the undermanned Minnesota Wild, who were dealing with major salary cap issues ahead of tonight’s game against Buffalo.

Today, they got their house in order.

Three skaters have been recalled: Christoph Bertschy, Tyler Graovac and Jordan Schroeder, the latter having just been named the AHL’s Player of the Week.

Graovac and Bertschy were in the Wild lineup for Saturday’s 4-0 win over Dallas — Bertschy registered his first NHL point (an assist), while Graovac scored his first big-league goal — but were quickly returned to AHL Iowa in an effort to save cap space.

Those departures, along with injuries to Zach Parise, Marco Scandella, Zach Dalpe, Erik Haula and Chris Stewart (illness), meant that head coach Bruce Boudreau was woefully shorthanded for Monday’s practice.

(The Wild later announced that Dalpe is out 4-6 weeks after knee surgery.)

Thankfully for the Wild, the club will have a full lineup tonight. Stewart is over his illness to the point where he can suit up, meaning Minnesota won’t have to platoon defenseman Nate Prosser as a forward.

So they’re missing some key players, but the Wild continue to chug along. That continues the narrative written throughout the first month of the season, as Minnesota jumped out to a 6-2-1 start to sit atop the Central Division.

Related: They ‘don’t have superstars,’ but the Wild are off to a hot start

Flyers lose veteran center Gordon (upper body) for at least a week

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Already down the services of Michael Raffl, Michael Del Zotto and Scott Laughton, the Flyers suffered another blow on the injury front Tuesday, announcing that Boyd Gordon would be out at least a week with an upper-body ailment.

Gordon, a veteran penalty killer and bottom-six checking forward, signed over from Arizona this past summer. One of Philly’s more active guys on the dot, he sits fourth on the team in faceoffs taken but leads in winning percentage (52.4).

In eight games, Gordon has one goal while averaging 8:31 TOI per night.

Beyond this injury, the Flyers could be making some lineup adjustments for tomorrow’s game against Detroit (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN). Raffl could make his return to the lineup at the expense of Chris Vande Velde.