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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Bolts trade unsigned draftee Imama to Kings

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Boko Imama, the QMJHL Saint John assistant captain taken by Tampa in the sixth round in 2015, has been traded to the Los Angeles Kings, the Bolts announced on Wednesday.

If the Kings can sign Imama by tomorrow’s 5 p.m. EST deadline, the Lightning will receive a seventh-round pick in 2018.

Imama, 20, is a burly power forward that scored 41 goals in 66 games this year, finishing as the Sea Dogs’ top sniper. He helped the club capture the Quebec League title and advance all the way to the Memorial Cup semifinals, where it lost to OHL Erie.

Listed at 6-foot-1, 221 pounds, Imama was also adept with his fists, fighting a combined 26 times in the ’13-14 and ’14-15 campaigns.

After leaving school, prospect Thompson wants to make Blues next year

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Tage Thompson skipped his final two years at Connecticut to turn pro this spring.

Now, he’s hoping that experience will propel him to the next level — a spot with the St. Louis Blues.

“It was exactly what I needed and exactly what I was hoping for, a stepping stone,” Thompson told the Post-Dispatch of his 16 regular season and 10 playoff games with AHL Chicago. “Had I not made that jump at the end of the season, I wouldn’t have known probably what it takes.

“Ultimately the goal is to make St. Louis next season, so now that I’ve got the experience of playing in Chicago I’m more prepared for training camp.”

Thompson, 19, opted to go pro after a stellar campaign. He racked up 32 points in 36 games to lead UConn in scoring, and captured gold with Team USA at the World Juniors. Thompson had five points in seven games, registering an assist in the gold medal win over Canada.

At 6-foot-5 and 201 pounds, Thompson has good NHL size, and pedigree to boot. He’s the son of former Kings, Jets and Coyotes blueliner Brent Thompson, who’s currently serving as head coach of the Isles’ AHL affiliate in Bridgeport.

That’s all part of the reason why the Blues took Thompson 26th overall in 2016. They ma very well have a spot for him next season.

Three forwards — Scottie Upshall, Nail Yakupov and Magnus Paajarvi — are currently without contracts, and it remains to be seen if they’ll be brought back. Upshall’s a veteran UFA and has suggested he’d like to return. Yakupov and Paajarvi are RFAs, and their statuses are unclear.

Yakupov did say he enjoyed his time in St. Louis, despite the fact he was a part-time player and routinely made a healthy scratch.

Report: Sabres interviewed Boughner for head coaching gig

San Jose assistant coach Bob Boughner is a wanted man.

Having already been linked to the vacant head coaching gig in Florida, Boughner has reportedly also interviewed for the head coaching job in Buffalo, per TSN’s Pierre LeBrun.

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.

That he’s in contention for the Buffalo gig shouldn’t be a surprise.

Boughner spent three years playing with the Sabres — helping them advance to the Eastern Conference final in 1998 — and was a former teammate of new GM Jason Botterill (with the Calgary organization from ’00-02).

Recently, Boughner expressed serious interest in becoming a head coach.

“I’m ready,” Boughner told WindsorEssexTV. “I’m definitely ready and I want to get my own team.”

Preds still unconvinced Forsberg was offside

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PITTSBURGH — The goal that wasn’t is still a major topic of conversation at the Stanley Cup Final.

Less than 24 hours after P.K. Subban‘s series-opening marker was wiped out due to a successful offside challenge, Subban and the Preds met with the assembled media.

To nobody’s surprise, the call was front and center.

“It’s tough,” Subban said during Tuesday’s media availability. “I watched the replay on the Jumbotron and I thought for sure it was going to be a good goal.”

The goal was wiped out after Pens head coach Mike Sullivan successfully challenged that Filip Forsberg was offside prior to Subban scoring. Forsberg said that, at the time of the play, he didn’t even think of the possibility of being offside and, upon seeing the replay, remained unconvinced he was.

“When you look at the video, it could easily go either way,” Forsberg said. “Kind of inconclusive in my opinion.”

The debate over conclusive evidence — or, lack thereof — has raged in the aftermath. And the NHL hasn’t done much to explain the call, other than this brief disclaimed on the league’s situation room blog:

After reviewing all available replays and consulting with the Linesmen, NHL Hockey Operations staff determined that Forsberg preceded the puck into the attacking zone, nor did he have possession and control before crossing the blue line.

One member of the Preds that wouldn’t wade into the offside debate was head coach Peter Laviolette. After his players openly questioned the call, Laviolette took to the podium on Tuesday and pretty much slammed it shut.

“Right now I’m focused on coaching,” he said. “The rules are the rules right now. I think, generally speaking, it works. Everybody gets a second look at something. So I think it works.”

Sens’ Brassard to undergo shoulder surgery, out 4-5 months (Updated)

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Just days after experiencing a painful Game 7 loss in the Eastern Conference final, the Ottawa Senators suffered some more on Tuesday.

Per GM Pierre Dorion, center Derick Brassard will require surgery for a torn labrum in his shoulder and be sidelined for 4-5 months. According to the Ottawa Sun, Dorion said he’s “hopeful” Brassard will be ready for next year.

Update: The Sens have released a statement confirming the procedure.

“After undergoing tests following the team’s playoff series against Pittsburgh it was determined that Derick suffered a torn labrum in his right shoulder that will require surgery to repair,” Dorion said. “The procedure will take place in the near future, with the expected recovery time for this type of injury being four to five months.

“We are hopeful that Derick will be ready for the start of the 2017-18 regular season.”

Looking at the calendar, a four month recovery window means Brassard will miss a significant chunk of the exhibition campaign, and possibly the start of the regular season.

If it’s five months, he’s in danger of missing the entire opening month of action.

It’s a tough development for Brassard who, it should be mentioned, turns 30 later this fall. Though his offensive numbers took a dip in his first year with the Sens — 14 goals and 39 points in 81 games — he had himself a pretty stellar playoff, with 11 points in 19 games while averaging over 18 minutes per night.

Acquired from the Rangers in exchange for Mika Zibanejad last summer, Brassard has two years left on a five-year, $25 million deal with a $5M average annual cap hit.