Author: Mike Halford

Carolina Hurricanes v New Jersey Devils

‘Canes part ways with longtime AHL coach Daniels


The Carolina Hurricanes made a fairly significant organizational shakeup on Thursday, dismissing AHL Charlotte head coach Jeff Daniels after seven seasons on the job.

“We appreciate the years of service and hard work that Jeff provided for our organization,” GM Ron Francis said in a statement. “His contract expires at the end of June, and we will now begin the process of finding a new head coach for the Checkers.”

Daniels, 46, has been with the Carolina organization for 15 years. He spent his final four playing seasons with the ‘Canes — helping them advance to the Stanley Cup Final in 2002 — then quickly transitioned into coaching, and was Peter Laviolette’s assistant on the Cup-winning team of ’06.

Daniels sort of embodied the “keep it in the family” approach favored by former GM Jim Rutherford during his time in charge. Rutherford was known for bringing ex-players back for repeat tours of duty (think Cory Stillman, Joe Corvo, Tim Gleason, Erik Cole) and transitioning former ‘Canes into coaching and front office roles (think Francis, Rod Brind’Amour and Glen Wesley.)

PHT’s Round 2 picks, once again featuring The Coin


For those not up to speed with The Coin — a 1972 Eisenhower Dollar that we used in Round 1 — click here to learn all about its coinly goodness (and the very arbitrary nature of making accurate predictions.)

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The Coin finished tied for the best PHT staff record in the opening round as it, along with Ryan Dadoun, went 6-2; Jason Brough, James O’Brien, Cam Tucker and Dhiren Mahiban all went 5-3 while yours truly went a putrid 3-5.

Quit showing me up, coin. Ah, who am I kidding…I can’t stay mad at you.

Anyway, let’s move onto some of the more impressive Round 1 picks:

— Tucker was the only human staffer to take the Wild over the Blues (and nailing it in six games, too.) The Coin also took the Wild.

— Mahiban was the only animate object to take the Flames over the Canucks. The Coin also took the Flames.

— Tucker was also the only staffer to accurately predict Rangers over Pens in five.

— Dadoun picked Habs in six, which nobody else did.

Round 2 picks

Montreal vs. Tampa Bay

Brough: Bolts in 6

Halford: Bolts in 6

Dadoun: Habs in 5

O’Brien: Bolts in 6

Tucker: Bolts in 6

Mahiban: Habs in 7

Coin: Habs

New York Rangers vs. Washington

Brough: Caps in 6

Halford: Rangers in 7

Dadoun: Rangers in 6

O’Brien: Caps in 6

Tucker: Rangers in 7

Mahiban: Rangers in 6

Coin: Caps

Anaheim vs. Calgary

Brough: Ducks in 7

Halford: Ducks in 6

Dadoun: Ducks in 6

O’Brien: Ducks in 5

Tucker: Ducks in 5

Mahiban: Ducks in 7

Coin: Ducks

Chicago vs. Minnesota

Brough: Wild in 6

Halford: ‘Hawks in 7

Dadoun: Wild in 7

O’Brien: ‘Hawks in 5

Tucker: ‘Hawks in 7

Mahiban: ‘Hawks in 6

Coin: ‘Hawks

NHL announces Round 2 playoff officials

Anaheim Ducks v Phoenix Coyotes

The NHL has announced the 12 referees, 12 linesmen and four standby officials that will work the second round of the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs.

Referees: Gord Dwyer, Eric Furlatt, Marc Joannette, Steve Kozari, Chris Lee, Wes McCauley, Dan O’Halloran, Dan O’Rourke, Kevin Pollock, Chris Rooney, Kelly Sutherland, Brad Watson.

Linesmen: Derek Amell, Scott Cherrey, Michel Cormier, Greg Devorski, Shane Heyer, Brad Kovachik, Steve Miller, Brian Murphy, Derek Nansen, Brian Pancich, Pierre Racicot, Jay Sharrers.

Standbys: Francis Charron, Francois St. Laurent (referees), David Brisebois, Mark Shewchyk (linesmen).

A few notes to pass along…

• Those dropped from Round 1? Jean Hebert, Dave Jackson, Frederick L’Ecuyer, Brad Meier, Brian Pochmara and Justin St. Pierre.

• Lee, who’s quick whistle in Game 6 of the Ottawa-Montreal series cost the Senators a goal, will move on despite his highly-publicized error.

• Of the two referees that failed to call a penalty on Niklas Kronwall’s suspension-worthy charge in Game 6 of the Detroit-Tampa Bay series, Kozari is moving onto Round 2 while Jackson has been dropped from the rotation.

Report: ‘Hawks sign ex-Oilers draftee out of Swedish league

Lulea Hockey v Frolunda Gothenburg - Champions Hockey League Final

The Chicago Blackhawks have tapped into the European market.


Shortly after announcing KHL scoring sensation Artemi Panarin would be coming aboard, the ‘Hawks have reportedly agreed to terms with d-man Erik Gustafsson — a former Edmonton draftee that’s spent the last few years in the Swedish league.

News of the signing was also tweeted out by Octagon player agent Peter Wallen, who’s based out Sweden.

Gustafsson — not to be confused with ex-Flyer Erik Gustafsson — was the 93rd overall pick in 2012 but never played for the Oilers, spending the majority of his time with Djurgardens of the SHL before moving to Frolunda, where he’s played the last two seasons.

This year, Gustafsson scored 29 points in 55 games and another three in 12 playoff appearances.

Pens tell long-serving Adams he won’t be back next year

Carolina Hurricanes v Pittsburgh Penguins

Veteran forward Craig Adams, who’s spent the last seven seasons in Pittsburgh, has reportedly been told by GM Jim Rutherford that he won’t be brought back for the 2015-16 campaign, per the Post-Gazette.

The news was also tweeted out by Adams’ agent, Neil Sheehy.

Adams, 38, was plucked off waivers by Pittsburgh in 2009 and went onto achieve a pretty high level of success for a wire claim, scoring five points in 24 games to help the Pens win the Stanley Cup that year. From there, he went on to appear in nearly 500 regular season contests for the club and served as the team’s player representative in a number of union matters.

A Harvard grad, Adams was slowly phased out of the Pens’ rotation this year and didn’t participate in any of the club’s opening-round playoff series loss to the Rangers.