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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Journeyman goalie Peters signs in KHL

After a seven-year career in which he played nearly 100 games with three different teams, Justin Peters is headed abroad.

Peters, who split last year between Arizona and Dallas, has signed on with Dinamo Riga of the KHL, the Latvian club announced on Friday. Peters joins the team after appearing in three games with the Coyotes last season, going 1-0-1 with a .900 save percentage. All his time with the Stars organization was spent with AHL Texas.

The 30-year-old did, at one point, look like he’d be a steady NHL backup. He was drafted pretty high — 38th overall at the 2004 draft — and had a solid ’13-14 campaign with Carolina, when he made 20 starts and finished with a .919 save percentage.

In addition to Arizona, Dallas and Carolina, Peters also spent time in the Washington organization, briefly serving as Braden Holtby‘s backup.

 

Orlov scores big payday — six years, $30.6 million from Caps

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Brian MacLellan hasn’t been shy about writing big checks in the aftermath of another playoff disappointment.

On Friday, the Caps GM announced the club extended d-man Dmitry Orlov to the tune of $30.6 million over the next six years. That works out to an average annual cap hit of $5.1 million — a major increase from the $2.575M he was making on his previous deal.

Orlov, 25, gets the payday after two good offensive campaigns. He scored eight goals and 29 points in ’15-16, and six goals and 33 points last year. It’s worth nothing he appeared in all 82 contests both times, and saw his TOI jump from 16:02 to 19:32.

There was also the looming specter of a possible deal coming from his native Russia. Orlov was reportedly in talks with KHL powerhouse CSKA Moscow.

The move makes Orlov Washington’s third highest-paid blueliner — behind Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik — and the only one signed beyond 2021. As mentioned above, it’s also the latest big money splash from MacLellan. Previously, he locked in T.J. Oshie with a monster eight-year, $46 million deal, one that carries a $5.75M hit.

It was understood the Russian rearguard was going to get a raise and while the AAV is a big jump, it’s in line with other contracts throughout the league. It actually comes in reasonably close to the seven-year, $31.5 million deal Toronto gave fellow Russian d-man Nikita Zaitsev, and that one came with Zaitsev having less experience at the NHL level.

Blues bring back Paajarvi on one-year, $800,000 deal

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Mangus Paajarvi, who scored the series-clinching OT goal against Minnesota in Round 1 of the playoffs, has re-upped with the St. Louis Blues on a one-year, one-way deal worth $800,000, the club announced on Thursday.

Paajarvi, 26, has spent the last four seasons with St. Louis and has carved out a niche for himself — a guy that can bounce back and forth between the NHL and AHL Chicago, yet step into the Blues lineup when necessary.

The former No. 10 overall pick had eight goals and 13 points in 32 games for the Blues last year, and three more points in eight playoff games. He also logged significant time with the Wolves, where he had 18 points in 26 games.

Given that this new deal is a one-way, it’s expected Paajarvi will have an even larger role in St. Louis next year. There are opportunities at forward — Ryan Reaves has been traded to Pittsburgh, Nail Yakupov wasn’t given a qualifying offer, and it’s unclear what GM Doug Armstrong will do with veteran winger Scottie Upshall.

 

Vegas adds McGill to Gallant’s coaching staff

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Ryan McGill, the Owen Sound bench boss that captured both OHL and CHL coach of the year honors, is jumping to the big leagues.

On Thursday, the Vegas Golden Knights announced that McGill would join Gerard Gallant’s staff as an assistant coach, where he’ll serve alongside fellow assistants Mike Kelly and Ryan Craig.

“We are very excited we were able to land Ryan as an assistant coach,” Gallant said in a release. “We’ve got a nice blend of personalities on the bench and in the room now.

“Ryan has an impressive resume and a great reputation amongst the players and coaches who have worked with him.”

McGill, 48, appeared in over 150 games as a defenseman with the Blackhawks, Flyers and Oilers during his playing career. He then immediately transitioned into coaching, and has an absolute boatload of experience. He was a dead coach at the AHL (Hartford, Omaha, Quad City) and WHL (Edmonton, Kootenay) levels, and served as an assistant coach with the Calgary Flames from 2009-11.

 

Caps extend Stephenson — two years, $1.3 million

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Washington locked in some forward depth on Thursday, agreeing to a two-year, $1.3 million extension with Chandler Stephenson.

Stephenson, 23, has appeared in 13 career contests for the Caps, with four of those coming last season. Taken in the third round of the 2012 draft, he’s spent most of his professional career in AHL Hershey where, last season, he scored a career-high 38 points.

Stephenson’s deal carries a $650,000 average annual cap hit and, perhaps most importantly for him, is of the one-way variety in 2018-19. That’s fairly important, because he could have a chance for a significant increase in role and responsibility with Washington over the next two years.

The Caps could soon lose veteran forwards Justin Williams and Daniel Winnik, as both become unrestricted free agents on Saturday.

Next summer, GM Brian MacLellan will need to make decisions on Lars Eller and Jay Beagle, who are set to become UFAs as well.