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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Enroth up, Bibeau down as Toronto’s goalie carousel keeps spinning

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Less than two weeks after getting waived and demoted to the AHL, Jhonas Enroth is back with the Leafs.

Per The Athletic, Toronto recalled their one-time backup netminder from the Marlies, sending down Antoine Bibeau in the process. Bibeau, the 22-year-old taken in the sixth round of the 2012 draft, made his NHL debut against the Avs on Sunday and fared reasonably well — even though he was tagged for the loss, Bibeau stopped 26 of 28 shots to finish with a .929 save percentage.

But now he’s gone — at least for now.

And Enroth is back.

The diminutive Swede’s had a tough time this year. He was waived just four days after a 3-0 loss to Calgary on Nov. 30, which dropped him to 0-3-1, with a 3.94 GAA and .872 save percentage.

“Obviously, wasn’t going good enough,” head coach Mike Babcock said of Enroth’s performance, per TSN. “We’re just in a situation where we’re making a change.”

Shortly after waiving Enroth, Toronto signed ex-Flames netminder Karri Ramo to a PTO with the Marlies. There was widespread speculation the move was a precursor to Ramo becoming Frederik Andersen‘s understudy in Toronto, but the club was quick to point out that wasn’t the case — and thus far, they were right not to raise expectations too high.

Ramo has struggled with the Marlies thus far, going 0-3 with a 3.80 GAA and .880 save percentage. Part of that, it’s assumed, has to do with the rust factor — Ramo is coming off ACL surgery, and was basically shelved for 10 months.

Glass gunning for NHL return, either with Rangers ‘or someone else’

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Here’s a name to keep an eye on as the trade deadline draws closer:

Tanner Glass.

Glass, the 33-year-old veteran with 500 games of NHL experience, has been plying his trade with the Rangers’ AHL affiliate in Hartford this season, racking up five goals and seven points through 25 contests. But his story in Hartford goes beyond the numbers.

Head coach Ken Gernander — who’s raved about Glass’ character and dressing room presence — has utilized the former Dartmouth product in a way designed to keep his big-league skills sharp.

“We’re still hoping that he makes his return to the NHL and to do that he’s going to be a role player who finishes his checks, is a penalty killer, a reliable guy defensively to help his team late in the game protect a lead,” Gernander said, per the Hartford Courant. “And that’s how we like to use him here.

“We’re trying to do right by him by continuing to use him in a role that will give him the chance to show what he can offer an NHL team.”

It appears both parties are on the same page. Glass, who’s appeared in 60 Stanley Cup playoff games — including the ’11 Final with Vancouver — told the Courant his goal is to get back up with the Rangers, “or someone else.”

Waived just prior to the start of the regular season, Glass is in the last of a three-year, $4.35 million deal with a $1.45M cap hit, and that minimal financial impact could sway teams into inquiring. Specifically, teams that are looking to add some toughness. Glass has been a willing combatant throughout his career, and led the Rangers in fights in each of the last two seasons.

We’ve already seen a few teams make moves to harden up their lineups this season. Florida acquired d-man Dylan McIlrath from the Rangers for that exact reason and, on Thursday, the Devils gave tough guy Luke Gazdic his season debut after head coach John Hynes said they were “too easy to play against.”

Among the potential fits for Glass? Buffalo (he’s long been a favorite of head coach Dan Bylsma) or possibly Nashville, a team that has recent history of employing a veteran physical presence (Matt Hendricks, Paul Gaustad, Brian McGrattan, Rich Clune, etc.)

Report: Hartley to take Latvian national team gig

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Bob Hartley, the 2015 Jack Adams winner as NHL coach of the year, is reportedly ready to get back into the game — in Latvia.

Per Latvian news outlet Sportacentrs, the country’s national hockey federation is reportedly “close” to signing on Hartley, who was dismissed by Calgary this past offseason and replaced by Glen Gulutzan.

The 56-year-old would be a major hire for Latvia.

Hartley’s captured both the Adams and a Stanley Cup, having led Colorado to the title in 2001. All told, he has nearly 1000 games of NHL head coaching experience, and over 450 wins.

Latvia has had some noteworthy bench bosses in the past. Among them was Ted Nolan, the former Sabres and Isles bench boss that led Latvia to an eighth-place finish at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.

That tournament was perhaps best remembered for the scare the Latvians threw into Team Canada in a 2-1 loss in the quarterfinals.

Detroit’s power play is struggling, yet again

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When Detroit shook up its coaching staff this offseason, GM Ken Holland stressed a need for change in several departments.

One of those was the club’s power play. After an up-and-down showing during the regular season, the unit was awful in an opening-round playoff loss to Tampa Bay, going just 1-for-25.

Things haven’t gotten better this year.

Detroit currently sits 29th in the NHL in power play efficiency, at 13 percent. Things have been especially bad over the last three home games — the Wings lost all three, were out-scored 9-2 and went a ghastly 0-for-13 with the man advantage.

“We really have our work cut out for us on the power play,” Gustav Nyquist said, per the Free Press. “We just have to find a way to get that going.

“We are losing a lot of games because of that.”

As mentioned above, Holland and the Wings knew things needed to change last season. And they did set about trying to change them.

Pat Ferschweiler, the assistant coach tasked with running the PP — and one that faced a fair bit of criticism — was reassgined to work out of the press box. John Torchetti was then brought in as Jeff Blashill’s new assistant on the bench.

(Prior to hiring Torchetti the Red Wings interviewed Todd Richards, who eventually was hired in Tampa Bay. Richards had a top-5 power play in Columbus during his last full season there.)

So far, there hasn’t been much in the way of improvement. Detroit has scored just a single PPG in December, despite having 24 opportunities, and is starting to feel the pressure. The club is sitting sixth in the Atlantic Division with a 13-14-4 record, and sounds like a team that loses confidence with every missed opportunity.

‘If the coach doesn’t like you then you’re not going to play,’ says a frustrated Corrado

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Frank Corrado is 23 years old. He’s appeared in 68 career NHL contests for Toronto and Vancouver, and another 100 more at the AHL level.

This year, though, he’s not playing at all. Quite literally.

Corrado’s appeared in just one of Toronto’s 28 games this season and, in that contest — a 4-1 loss to Pittsburgh on Nov. 12 –he received just 16:24 of ice time, the least of any Leafs defenseman.

So take it away, Frank!

“At the end of the day, the coach is the one who makes the lineup and if the coach doesn’t like you, then you’re not going to play,” he said on Thursday, per The Athletic. “And that’s where I’m at right now.”

Corrado was asked about his situation following the trade of another little-used Leaf — Peter Holland, who was flipped to Arizona after a series of healthy scratches. Holland, like Corrado, was never regarded as a Babcock favorite.

Corrado repeated several times he finds this current situation frustrating, though he did say that GM Lou Lamoriello has been supportive, and insists the club wants the d-man in the mix. But Lamoriello doesn’t want to lose an asset for nothing — which could happen if he waives Corrado to try and send him to the Marlies — so he has to keep him with the Leafs.

That, in turn, means the issue essentially comes down to the head coach.

And to hear Corrado explain it, things might be near their breaking point.

“It’s frustrating now,” Corrado said. “When you don’t get to play for a month and a half, and you’ve played in one game all year, it takes its toll on you mentally… Yeah, you’re in the NHL. It’s not that the novelty has worn off; it’s just that it’s time to play. It’s time to have a career. I feel like the more I’m not playing, that’s food off my table. That’s kind of the way I see it right now.”

It’s fair to suggest Corrado would have some market value. He’s on a team-friendly contract (one-year, $600,000), is a right-shot blueliner and has shown to be a good offensive producer at times — like in ’14-15, when he had seven goals and 16 points in 35 games for AHL Utica.