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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Trouba ‘committed’ to Jets, rescinds trade request

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Jacob Trouba re-joined the Jets on Tuesday for practice and, afterward, made it clear he’s very happy to be back.

And that he’s not going anywhere.

“I’ve committed to sign here,” Trouba said while confirming he’s rescinded his trade request, per the Winnipeg Sun. “When I signed that piece of paper, everything changed in my mind.”

“That piece of paper” is, of course, the two-year, $6 million deal Trouba signed yesterday, ending a lengthy contract squabble that saw him miss Winnipeg’s first 13 games of the year.

But while the contract ensured Trouba would play this year — he needed to ink before the Dec. 1 deadline — there was some question as to where he would play.

Agent Kurt Overhardt went public with the trade request in September, but revealed the Jets were informed of that decision all the way back in May, which suggested Trouba had been unhappy with his role in Winnipeg for quite some time.

Some saw yesterday’s bridge deal — complete with a very affordable $3M cap hit — as a mechanism that would facilitate Trouba being moved.

It was very similar to the deal Kyle Turris, another Overhardt client, signed with the Coyotes to end his contract squabble back in 2011.

After signing, Turris played six games for the Coyotes before being dealt to Ottawa.

In his press Monday availability, Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff played it coy about whether Trouba had rescinded his trade request, only saying that the Jets were excited to have him back.

Trouba’s comments today should clear up any uncertainty.

“I’m part of this team,” he said, per the Sun. “Whatever I’m asked to do for these next two years I’m under contract is what I’m going to do.”

Calgary waives veteran d-man Grossmann

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An aftershock on Tuesday, one day after team president Brian Burke laid into his club — Calgary has waived blueliner Nicklas Grossmann, per Sportsnet.

Grossmann, 31, had appeared in three games for the Flames this year, averaging just over 13 minutes per night. He caught on with Calgary after attending training camp on a PTO, and it was largely assumed his past relationship with head coach Glen Gulutzan (the two were together in Dallas) played a key role in translating that PTO into a guaranteed contract.

But now, Grossmann is up for grabs.

It’s worth pointing out this transaction comes on the heels of Burke’s rant on Monday to Sportsnet 960 The Fan. After calling out Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan, Burke also took a shot at the club’s blueline, saying “Deryk Engelland, you can make a case, has been out best defenseman.”

While that was largely viewed as a shot at the likes of Mark Giordano, T.J. Brodie and Dougie Hamilton, it didn’t do Grossmann any favors.

Looking ahead, it’s likely Grossmann will clear, at which time the Flames could send him down to AHL Stockton.

 

Torts drops Saad to fourth line

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John Tortorella was fuming after Saturday’s 2-1 loss to St. Louis, calling out his “top guys” for not giving enough — but stopping short of naming names.

On Monday, he let his actions do the talking.

Brandon Saad, who got beat by Vladimir Tarasenko for the OT winner on the weekend, has been moved to the fourth line, per the Dispatch.

First, the Tarasenko goal:

And now, more on the Saad situation:

Saad, you’ll recall, was slow getting back in overtime on Oct. 26 in Los Angeles, when Alec Martinez — Saad’s guy — scored on a rebound putback to give the Kings a 3-2 win.

“You have to play all areas of the ice all the time,” Tortorella said. “For a number of guys — not just Saader, but for a number of our guys — that’s a continuing process of learning.

“The games are so tight. The swing in momentum is based upon maybe a little bit of lazy play mentally, maybe a little bit of lazy play physically, and it turns the tide so quickly in our game.”

Dropping Saad in this fashion is a fairly large statement, because the 24-year-old has been one of the club’s most productive forwards this season.

He has three goals and eight points through 10 games — third among forwards in scoring — and his production has come entirely at even strength (he’s also fired plenty of shots on goal, with 26.)

Saad’s demotion comes roughly two weeks after Tortorella did the same thing with Boone Jenner. Jenner got dropped for a 3-2 win over Chicago back on Oct. 21, but found himself back in the top-six forward group a couple games later.

Reeling Preds make pair of noteworthy roster moves — including one in goal

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At 3-5-2, Nashville is one of the biggest early disappointments of the season. The Preds look nothing like the Cup contenders many predicted they’d be, and the list of individuals struggling to find their form is lengthy.

To say the least.

In addressing that last bit, the Preds made a pair of fairly significant roster moves on Tuesday.

Kevin Fiala, the 11th overall pick in 2014 — who has just two points in 10 games this year — has been sent down to Milwaukee while Juuse Saros, the Finnish netminding prospect that’s lighting up the American League, has been recalled.

Fiala will be replaced by Pontus Aberg, who leads the Admirals in scoring this season with nine points in nine games.

Saros’ promotion comes at the expense of Marek Mazanec, who’s really struggled as Pekka Rinne‘s backup — Mazanec has allowed seven goals on 36 shots this year, for an ugly .806 save percentage.

Saros, 6-1-0 with a 1.99 GAA and .929 save percentage in Milwaukee, will be an interesting guy to watch moving forward. Though he’s played well lately, Rinne’s been subjected to heavy criticism this year, including some from his GM.

“Pekka’s not escaping criticism,” David Poile said, per The Tennessean. “We need and he needs to be part of the solution to get us out of this. Higher save percentage, the save at the right time.

“Do I think he’s playing good? Yes, I do. Do I think he can play better? We need him to play better, just like the same thing I’d say with the forwards and defensemen.”

As for the Fiala-Aberg swap, the hope is for Aberg to give the club a boost offensively. The 23-year-old Swede was a surprise recall during last year’s postseason, making his NHL debut in Round 2 against the Sharks.

Nashville hosts Ottawa tonight.

Vegas to unveil name, logo on Nov. 22

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OK, it’s official — we’re going to find out what the Las Vegas team is called.

And what it’ll look like.

On Tuesday, Nov. 22, the franchise will unveil its name and logo at T-Mobile Arena, in an “exciting event” that will feature NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, owner Bill Foley and GM George McPhee.

The announcement has been a long time coming.

For months, reports have leaked about the name and logo, most of them connected to Foley’s long-standing desire for “Knights” to be incorporated.

Back in late August, the Vegas group confirmed it had trademarks on Desert Knights, Golden Knights and Silver Knights; two weeks later, the franchise said it had a name, but vowed to keep it secret.

Not long after, Foley said the club was pushing the announcement back to November.