Mike Halford

You've heard the expression "let's get busy?" Well, Mike Halford is a blogger who gets "biz-zay!" Consistently and thoroughly.

Boughner reportedly joins Florida’s coaching candidate list

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Add another name to the growing list of interviewees for the Panthers’ bench boss gig — per TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, Florida has been granted permission to interview Sharks assistant Bob Boughner.

Over the weekend, GM Dale Tallon said he’s spoken with a half dozen candidates for the job, adding he plans on interviewing another half dozen. All the names have not been made available, but two — former Montreal head coach Michel Therrien and Denver University’s Jim Montgomery — have already been identified.

Whatever the case, it appears Tallon is casting a pretty wide net.

Boughner, 46, has a fairly impressive resume. After a lengthy pro career, he immediately transitioned to the coaching side with OHL Windsor, capturing a pair of Memorial Cups. From there, he spent a year as Scott Arniel’s assistant in Columbus before returning to junior, then moved back to the NHL as Peter DeBoer’s assistant in San Jose in 2015.

Appearing in over 600 NHL games as a rugged defenseman, Boughner has worked primarily with the Sharks’ blueline and penalty kill. He’s been praised by a number of the club’s rearguards, including Brent Burns, while veteran Paul Martin said Boughner “definitely has the pedigree” to become a head coach.

Boughner was reportedly a leading candidate for the Colorado job last summer following Patrick Roy’s departure, though the gig eventually went to Jared Bednar.

Bruins ‘doing everything we possibly can’ to sign prospect Bjork


Boston will soon learn the fate of prized prospect Anders Bjork.

Bjork, the club’s fifth-round pick at the 2014 draft, has blossomed into one of the top collegiate players in the country and, accordingly, one of the Bruins’ most important assets.

But he’s yet to decide if he wants to turn pro, or head back to Notre Dame for his senior season.

“We’re doing everything we possibly can,” Bruins president Cam Neely said of the club’s push to sign Bjork, per CSNNE. “He had a very difficult decision (about turning pro) right after his season was over. I think it was overwhelming for him. He’s at the World Championships now. His camp has told Don that he’s going to make a decision whether or not to return to college hockey or turn pro after the World Championships at some point.

“Our hopes are that he sees where we’re at as a team and some of the young players we’re putting in our lineup. We hope that he understands that he’s a player that we think very highly of that can step in and contribute [in the NHL].”

Bjork, 20, is currently playing for Team USA at the Worlds, another indication he’s viewed by hockey folk as a youngster that’s ready to make the leap. His selection by USA Hockey comes after a stellar junior campaign with the Fighting Irish, in which he racked up 52 points in 39 games, helping the school advance to the Frozen Four.

There were rumblings the B’s first tried to get Bjork to turn pro right after his collegiate season ended, not unlike what they did with Charlie McAvoy. And the club certainly showed a willingness to implement youngsters into the lineup, as McAvoy averaged a whopping 26:12 TOI per game during Boston’s opening-round playoff loss to Ottawa.

Bjork, of course, has options. If he sticks around for another year at ND, he could head into next summer facing the prospect of unrestricted free agency — “pulling a Vesey,” as it’s come to be known.

Evander Kane’s trespassing, harassment charges dropped


A Buffalo judge has dismissed the charges Evander Kane was facing from an alleged incident at a local area bar last summer.

More, from the Buffalo News:

Paul Cambria, Kane’s attorney, said Tuesday night that the dismissal was the result of a plea agreement that was approved back in October by Buffalo City Court Judge Barbara Johnson-Lee, who ordered an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal of the charges.

“The time period expired and so the charges were dismissed and the record sealed,” said Cambria.

Kane was initially charged by Buffalo police with misdemeanor criminal trespass, non-criminal disorderly conduct and four counts of non-criminal harassment.

The charges came after an evening at the Bottoms Up club, in which three woman alleged Kane grabbed them by the neck and hair, while a bouncer at the bar also claimed to have had an encounter with the 25-year-old.

Kane was arrested on July 22, and later released. He pleaded not guilty in early August.

Detroit signs Czech League standout goalie Machovsky


The Red Wings added some depth in goal on Tuesday, signing Matej Machovsky to a one-year, entry-level contract.

Machovsky, 23, has spent the last four seasons backstopping HC Plzen of the Czech Extraliga. He’s been one of the league’s best netminders since debuting and, this year, posted really good numbers (2.25 GAA, .925 save percentage) on a team that wasn’t especially good. Plzen finished ninth in the 14-team circuit, with a minus-3 goal differential.

Prior to playing in the Czech Republic, Machovsky spent three years with OHL Brampton.

Looking ahead, it’ll be interesting to see where Machovsky fits organizationally. Detroit has three goalies currently in the mix — Jimmy Howard, Petr Mrazek and Jared Coreau — but one assumes GM Ken Holland will eventually need to figure out a solution for Howard, who earns $5.2 million annually through 2019.

Howard had a pretty good ’16-17 campaign, posting a .927 save percentage over 26 appearances, but it looks like the club will roll with a Mrazek-Coreau tandem moving forward, which makes sense. Combined, they’ll earn just $4.6 million next season.

Scouting combine sticks in Buffalo through 2019


The KeyBank Center and HarborCenter have done a quality job hosting the annual scouting combine over the last two years, so much so that the NHL has signed on for three more.

On Tuesday, the league announced the combine will remain in Buffalo through 2019. More:

“It’s been a pleasure to host this event the last two years and we are honored to be chosen to continue hosting through 2019,” said Sabres President Russ Brandon. “The combination of KeyBank Center and HarborCenter provides the perfect venue for the Combine, and we look forward to building on the success we’ve achieved during the last two events.”

“The Buffalo Sabres, HarborCenter complex and the City of Buffalo have proven to be amazing hosts and the ideal location for our annual Scouting Combine,” said Dan Marr, Director of NHL Central Scouting. “The NHL and its Member Clubs are pleased that this modern, all-encompassing venue will play host for the next three years.”

The event, held annually in late May and early June, consists of player interviews, medical assessments and a series of physical fitness tests. All 31 NHL clubs have the opportunity to conduct individual interviews with players in preparation for the NHL Draft.

This decision was something of a layup. The Sabres always seem eager to host as many league events as possible at their signature complex, and the league seems to love the layout. Prior to Buffalo, the combine was always held in Toronto — but the problem was the venue had no on-ice testing, and not much room for fans to show up and attend.

Buffalo also hosted the 2016 NHL Entry Draft at KeyBank.