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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Flames release Higgins from PTO

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Chris Higgins’ bid to earn a contract with the Flames is over.

On Monday, Calgary announced it had released Higgins from his professional tryout, just one day after dumping another veteran — Lauri Korpikoski — from his PTO.

(If there’s a silver lining for Higgins, it’s that Korpikoski quickly found work, signing on with Dallas.)

Higgins, 33, was extended a camp invite in the hopes of potentially helping Calgary’s shaky penalty kill, but his work in the preseason failed to win over management. Foot speed, or lack thereof, has been an issue.

One has to wonder if this is the end of the line. Higgins was bought out of his contract in Vancouver last year after the Canucks were unable to trade him, then sent him down to the AHL.

If so, the former first-round pick had a pretty good run. Higgins has appeared in over 700 NHL contests, recording three 20-goal seasons and 165 total for his career.

 

 

Michalek, Condra, Scuderi among notable vets on waivers

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NHL clubs continued to shuffle their decks today in advance of Tuesday’s roster deadline, which resulted in several older, familiar names on the waiver wire.

A quick rundown:

— Arizona waived longtime blueliner Zbynek Michalek. Michalek, 33, is in the last of a two-year, $6.4 million deal with a $3.2M average annual cap hit, and averaged just over 17 minutes a night in 70 games last year. This move could mean that Jakob Chychrun, the 16th overall pick at this year’s draft, will make the Coyotes’ opening-night roster.

— Just one year after signing a three-year, $3.75 million deal with the Bolts, Erik Condra is on waivers. The 30-year-old winger was a disappointment last season, with just 11 points in 54 games, and appeared to be in a battle for a roster spot throughout the preseason. With reports that GM Steve Yzerman is close to signing star RFA Nikita Kucherov, it’s possible Condra’s contract is buried in the AHL to squeeze a few extra dollars under the cap. Assuming Condra clears waivers, that is.

Rob Scuderi, heading into the last of a four-year, $13.5 million deal that’s been passed around like a hot potato, has been waived by Los Angeles. The 37-year-old originally signed the deal with Pittsburgh, but was then traded to Chicago, and then again to L.A. (the Pens retained most of his salary). Last year he suited up for all three teams, going goalless with 10 points in 63 games. He also appeared in all five of the Kings’ playoff games in an opening-round loss to San Jose, averaging 19:20 TOI per night.

Other notables:

— Calgary dumped tough guy Brandon Bollig, who has one year left on his three-year, $3.75 million deal.

— The Habs did the expected and waived goalie Mike Condon. Condon lost his backup gig to Al Montoya.

— Columbus exposed Gregory Campbell to the wire, with the 32-year-old midway through his two-year, $3 million deal. This comes after Campbell played all 82 games last year, scoring 11 points.

— In addition to Condra, the Bolts also waived Cory Conacher. Conacher was brought back to the organization this year after spending some time in Europe, in the hopes of rediscovering chemistry with head coach Jon Cooper.

Related:

Isles waive Parenteau in surprise move

Jets put Pavelec on the wire

Kinkaid wins Devils’ backup goalie gig, Wedgewood waived

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New Jersey has settled on Cory Schneider‘s understudy for the year — the same guy that filled the role last season.

Keith Kinkaid has beaten out Scott Wedgewood for the No. 2 job, per NorthJersey.com, a move the Devils made official on Monday by putting Wedgewood on waivers.

Wedgewood, 24, was New Jersey’s third-round pick in 2010 and was apparently in a “tight” battle with Kinkaid throughout the preseason. He appeared in four games for the Devils last season, going 2-1-1 with a 1.25 GAA and .957 save percentage.

The key now, at least for GM Ray Shero, is to get Wedgewood through waivers so he can be assigned to AHL Albany.

But that’s no sure bet.

There are a few teams looking for goalie depth. One of them could be San Jose (we wrote about the Sharks’ backup goalie situation over the weekend) and, as NorthJersey points out, the Sharks are coached by ex-Devils bench boss Peter DeBoer, who was around at the time Wedgewood was breaking into pro hockey with Albany.

Report: Isles to waive Parenteau in roster day surprise (Update: It’s official)

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Bit of a shocker out of Brooklyn.

Per Newsday, the Islanders are set to waive veteran winger PA Parenteau — the same PA Parenteau they signed to a one-year, $1.25 million deal this summer, in the hope of reuniting him with captain John Tavares.

Update: Isles have made the news official.

But the reunion’s over. Before it ever got started, really.

Parenteau, 33, was cut loose following an exhibition campaign in which he only played once with Tavares — in Sunday’s 4-0 loss to Washington —  and apparently didn’t show enough to warrant an opening-night roster spot.

It’s an odd development, to say the least.

Parenteau was always good with the Isles, scoring 20 goals for them in 2010-11, then posting a career-high 67 points the following campaign. He also had a pretty effective year in Toronto last season, netting 20 goals and 41 points.

So needless to say, today’s move is a surprise.

Various folks, including Isles play-by-play man Brendan Burke, have suggested the move was made to free up minutes for rookies Mathew Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier, each taken in the first round of the 2015 draft.

The pair have impressed during the preseason.

It’s possible we’ll see more surprise moves like this today, as teams need to get their houses in order ahead of the start of the regular season on Wednesday.

Report: Ailing Stars to sign Korpikoski (Updated)

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Desperate for depth up front, Dallas may have found an answer — per Finnish news outlet Iltalehti, veteran Lauri Korpikoski is close to signing with the Stars.

Korpikoski, 30, is barely removed from participating in Calgary’s camp on a PTO (his release came on Sunday). A participant with Team Finland at the recently-wrapped World Cup of Hockey, he’s coming off a moderately productive campaign in Edmonton, during which he scored 10 goals and 22 points in 71 games.

This move comes with Dallas dealing with a depleted forward group. Mattias Janmark is out 5-6 months following knee surgery, Cody Eakin is sidelined with a knee ailment, Ales Hemsky is dealing with a groin problem and Tyler Seguin is still recovering from a hairline fracture in his heel.

Also, Valeri Nichushkin signed in the KHL.

The Stars had previously tried to address their issues up front by bringing in Justin Fontaine on a PTO after he was dropped by Florida. That move didn’t work out, though, as the Stars released Fontaine yesterday.

Update: Dallas has made it official. One year, $1 million for Korpikoski.