Mike Halford

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 23:  Ty Rattie #61 of the St. Louis Blues warms up prior to facing the Colorado Avalanche during their preseason game at Pepsi Center on September 23, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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‘Canes claim Rattie off waivers from Blues

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St. Louis tried to pass Ty Rattie through waivers, and it didn’t work.

On Wednesday, Sportsnet reported that Carolina claimed Rattie, one day after the Blues exposed him and over a month since his last game action at the NHL level. Rattie has been out of the Blues lineup since Nov. 29 and, all told, has appeared in just four games this year, registering no points.

He also played three more on a conditioning stint in the AHL, registering one assist.

The 32nd overall pick in the 2011 draft, Rattie was once a highly touted prospect. He put up huge numbers in the WHL with the Portland Winterhawks, and he continued to produce after he graduated to the AHL.

Last season, he had 46 points in 62 games for the Chicago Wolves.

Rattie’s always had issues breaking into the St. Louis lineup, however. He made his big league debut back in ’13-14, but has never appeared in more than 13 games in a single season.

With Carolina, he should have more of an opportunity.

The club has suffered some losses up front this season. Power forward Bryan Bickell has been sidelined since his multiple sclerosis diagnosis, and Elias Lindholm is currently sidelined with an upper-body injury.

This move also fits with GM Ron Francis’ penchant for taking waiver fliers on other team’s prospects. Previously, the ‘Canes scooped Detroit’s Martin Frk and Arizona’s Klas Dalhbeck; two years ago, Francis claimed Andrej Nestrasil from the Red Wings and Nestrasil has turned out well, scoring a career-high 23 points in just 55 games for the ‘Canes last season.

“We feel that Ty has a high skill level,” Francis said in a statement, confirming the Rattie acquisition. “We believe that he can help improve our team.”

Flames prospect Parsons starts for U.S. in big WJC tilt against Russia

LONDON, ON - OCTOBER 9:  Tyler Parsons #1 of the London Knights takes a breather during a play stoppage against the Sudbury Wolves in an OHL game at Budweiser Gardens on October 9, 2015 in London, Ontario, Canada. Parsons scored the first goal by a goalie in London Knights history earlier in the game. The Knights defeated the Wolves 6-2. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
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Tyler Parsons, who backstopped the U.S. past Switzerland in the quarterfinal round, has been tabbed by head coach Bob Motzko as the starter for today’s big semifinal tilt against Russia, per NHL.com.

Parsons, taken 54th overall by Calgary at last year’s draft, has largely split netminding duties with Leafs prospect Joe Woll, who beat Canada in the group phase and has the highest save percentage (.935) in the tournament.

Parsons has been the lead dog, however, getting five games to Woll’s three, including the aforementioned quarterfinal win over Switzerland. Parsons was arguably the best U.S. player on Tuesday — despite only facing 16 shots, he made several tough saves late to push the Americans to a narrow victory.

The 19-year-old now gets another shot at defeating the Russians in this tournament. Parsons made 25 saves in a 3-2 win back in the group stage and, per fellow Flame Matthew Tkachuk — who Parsons played junior with in OHL London — the talented ‘tender was full value for the win.

“He was unbelievable in the game against Russia,” Tkachuk said, per the Flames’ website. “In my opinion, he won them that game.”

Panthers send McIlrath to minors for conditioning

St Louis Blues v New York Rangers
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Dylan McIlrath, the former 10th overall pick Florida acquired from the Rangers in November, has been sent to the Panthers’ AHL affiliate on a conditioning loan, the club announced on Wednesday.

The decision comes after McIlrath had appeared in just four games since being acquired. His last came on Dec. 15, when he played sparingly (6:09 TOI) in a shootout loss to Winnipeg.

A big (6-foot-5, 236 pounds), physical defenseman, McIlrath came into the league high on promise but has failed to materialize, due in large part to his average skating ability and lack of offense.

There was hope within the Panthers organization he would add some needed snarl to the lineup, but neither head coach — Gerard Gallant or Tom Rowe — dressed McIlrath enough to make an impact.

Conditioning loans are of the two-week variety, so this will give McIlrath a chance to play some games. But it’s hard to see him jumping back into the Panthers lineup after that, especially if the club is still in the thick of the playoff chase.

Crosby, Subban, Price, McDavid named All-Star Game captains

TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 17:  Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on December 17, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
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The votes are in, and the four divisional captains have been named for the 2017 All-Star Game in Los Angeles.

From the NHL:

Forwards Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers, defenseman P.K. Subban of the Nashville Predators and goalie Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens topped their respective divisions in fan votes in the 2017 NHL All-Star Fan Vote to earn the first spots and captaincy in the 2017 Honda NHL All-Star Game in Los Angeles on Sunday, Jan. 29.

Price and Crosby captured the most votes in the Atlantic Division and Metropolitan Division, respectively, while Subban led the Central Division and McDavid topped the Pacific Division.

Today’s announcement shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, given all four were leading their respective divisions when the NHL last updated voting totals.

Last year, in Nashville, John Scott captained the Pacific Division to victory over the Jaromir Jagr-led Atlantic in the tournament final. John Tavares captained the Metro, while Patrick Kane wore the “C” for the Central.

Goalie nods: Bobrovsky named December’s first star, looks to continue win streak

ANAHEIM, CA - OCTOBER 28:  Sergei Bobrovsky #72 of the Columbus Blue Jackets in goal during the third period of a 4-0 win over the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on October 28, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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First, the award — Columbus netminder Sergei Bobrovsky has been named the NHL’s first star for December:

Bobrovsky went 12-0-0 with a 1.75 goals-against average and .939 save percentage to guide the Blue Jackets (26-5-4, 56 points) to a perfect 14-0-0 December and the top of the League standings.

In doing so, Columbus equaled the second-longest single-season winning streak in NHL history (15) and became just the second team in League history to win every outing in a calendar month of at least 10 games (PIT: 15-0-0 in March 2013).

Bobrovsky allowed two or fewer goals in nine of his 12 December appearances and also made 30-plus saves five times, including a season-high 37 stops Dec. 27 vs. BOS.

Needless to say, it was a pretty good month. Now Bobrovsky will look to continue that form — and Columbus’ 15-game winning streak — when the Jackets host Edmonton at Nationwide. This will be the second time Bob’s faced Connor McDavid and company this season, having previously stopped 33 shots in a 3-1 win in mid-December.

For Edmonton, Cam Talbot gets the nod. He too enjoyed a very good December, going 7-1-4 with a .924 save percentage and 2.26 GAA.

Elsewhere…

Eddie Lack is back on the shelf with a concussion, so Cam Ward starts yet again for the ‘Canes. No word yet on who goes for the visiting Devils.

Anders Nilsson gets the nod for the Sabres, who are in New York this evening. No word yet on a Rangers starter.

— Good matchup in Washington, where Braden Holtby and the Caps will host Frederik Andersen and the Leafs. Holtby is coming off a 23-save win over Ottawa on Sunday, and Andersen is riding a personal four-game winning streak.

— The Lightning will continue to ride Andrei Vasilevskiy, with Ben Bishop sidelined due to injury. The Russian ‘tender has won four of his last six starts, and will try for five in seven when the Bolts host Connor Hellebuyck and the Jets.

— In a much-ballyhooed game in Nashville, Carey Price and the Habs take on Pekka Rinne and the Preds. Price is looking to rebound after losing three consecutive starts, while Rinne is looking over his shoulder at backup Juuse Saros, who has played very well in limited minutes.

— The Sharks and Kings renew their rivalry in San Jose tonight and, unsurprisingly, both teams are going with their No. 1s: Martin Jones for the Sharks, Peter Budaj for the Kings.