Mike Halford

during the first period of the 2015 NCAA Division I Men's Hockey Championship semifinals at TD Garden on April 9, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts.
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Report: Tanev’s younger brother garnering serious NHL interest

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Here’s a name to keep an eye on as we get closer and closer to the collegiate free agent period:

Brandon Tanev.

If the surname’s familiar, that’s because Brandon — currently starring at Providence College — is the younger brother of Vancouver defenseman Chris Tanev, who himself was an undrafted college free agent from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Per TSN, “as many as a dozen” NHL clubs have shown interest in the 24-year-old Brandon, who scored the game-winning goal in Providence’s win over Boston College in last year’s Frozen Four championship game.

This year, Brandon, a forward, has eight goals and 18 points in 22 games, emerging as one of the Friars’ top scorers.

It’s not surprising clubs are keeping tabs on Brandon, given the success his older brother’s had at the NHL level.

After a brief stint at R.I.T, Chris emerged as one of Vancouver’s top blueliners and, last March, signed a five-year, $22.25 million extension with the club, one that will keep him with the Canucks through 2020.

Detroit waives Andersson

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For the second time this season, the Red Wings have waived a player with over 200 games of NHL experience.

On Friday, Detroit exposed forward Joakim Andersson to waivers, the club announced. Andersson, 26, has appeared in 25 games this season, scoring one goal and three points while averaging just 9:22 TOI per game — down significantly from the ’13-14 campaign, when he posted a career-high 17 points and averaged nearly 14 minutes per night.

On a one-year, $815,000 deal, Andersson has been in and out of the Detroit lineup this season, spending plenty of time in the press box as a healthy scratch.

Should he clear waivers, he’ll be off to Detroit’s AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids, where he’d join the other 200-game NHL veteran waived earlier this season — defenseman Jakub Kindl.



Ailing Isles D gets Hamonic back tonight

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 02:  Travis Hamonic #3 of the New York Islanders of skates against the New York Rangers at the Barclays Center on December 2, 2015 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Islanders defeated the Rangers 2-1 in the shootout.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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On Sunday, the New York Islanders were forced to play one of their thinnest bluelines of the year in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Canucks.

Tonight, that blueline will be much deeper.

Travis Hamonic will return from a four-game absence when the Isles take on the Senators in Ottawa, the club confirmed on Friday morning. It’s a welcome return for New York, as Hamonic plays nearly 24 minutes a night, and is coming off a career-high 33 points in ’14-15.

The 25-year-old, who’s been in the headlines this year because of his trade request, hasn’t played since suffering a lower-body injury against the Capitals on Jan. 7.

That injury put Hamonic on the shelf next to fellow blueliners Johnny Boychuk and Adam Pelech, forcing head coach Jack Capuano to ice a defense comprised of Nick Leddy, Thomas Hickey, Marek Zidlicky, Brian Strait, Scott Mayfield and Calvin de Haan against Vancouver.

Leddy and Hickey both played over 25 minutes, while de Haan clocked in at 23:40.

Mayfield will be the one to come out of the lineup for Hamonic.

Related: Isles’ D takes another hit as Pelech (upper body) reportedly done for year

Panthers scratch Pirri amid trade rumblings

Brandon Pirri

Some interesting stuff out of Florida this morning — Brandon Pirri, one of just eight Panthers to have appeared in all 46 games this year, is going to be a healthy scratch tonight when the Cats host the Blackhawks at BB&T.

The development is interesting in light of what TSN senior correspondent Gary Lawless tweeted minutes prior to the announcement:

Per the Miami Herald, head coach Gerard Gallant shot down the trade angle, saying the move was designed so Pirri could “bounce back.”

There could be something to Gallant’s remarks.

Pirri is pointless in his last six games, though his TOI is hardly reflective — he played 14:44 against Edmonton on Monday, his highest total of the month, and responded by firing a team-high five shots on goal.

It’s also curious that Gallant would scratch Pirri for a game against Chicago, the organization that drafted him in 2009 and gave him his NHL debut one year later.

On the year Pirri has nine goals and 21 points, sitting seventh on the team in scoring. He’s coming off a strong ’14-15 campaign in which he finished second on the Panthers with 22 goals, two back of team leader Nick Bjugstad.

Tampa newspaper tears into ‘crybaby, quitter, disaster’ Drouin

Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) celebrates after scoring the game-winning goal against the Florida Panthers in the third period during an NHL preseason hockey game, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

So, we now know what the local media thinks of Jonathan Drouin.

On Friday, Tampa Tribune columnist Martin Fennelly penned a piece titled “How we’ll remember Jonathan Drouin — Crybaby, quitter, disaster.”

In it, he writes:

Here at the corner of Jungle and Madness, The Drouin Disaster nears conclusion. Any moment now, we expect a trade that will allow the indefinitely suspended Jonathan Drouin, former prized Lightning draft pick, to pack his skates, sticks and teething ring and go elsewhere.

Or maybe it won’t be any moment now. Drouin’s latest hijinks — making himself a healthy scratch for Wednesday’s game for the Syracuse Crunch — should give suitors pause. He’s the kid who quit.

Fennelly goes on to call Drouin “a spoiled brat, a crybaby,” who is “dragging his sippy cup across the crib bars.”

OK then!

There’s also a very subtle line in here that’s worth discussing:

Hey, I’ve got a great idea! If the Lightning want to move Drouin, bring him back up and make him team captain. Those guys are leaving here all the time …

This, of course, is in reference to Vincent Lecavalier, the ex-captain that was bought out of his monster contract in 2013. It is also, of course, in reference to Martin St. Louis — the ex-captain who demanded a trade in 2014 — and it’s also, of course, in reference to Steve Stamkos, the current captain and pending UFA that could be headed to free agency on July 1.

So what gives, Tampa Bay?

Recently, the Trib’s Erik Erlendsson appeared on TSN 1040 and discussed the larger-scale issue at play.

“If [Stamkos] goes, I think people are going to start to question why they let him go,” Erlendsson explained. “Is it simply just a business discussion? Because there’s so many factors that come into this. Steven Stamkos means just so much to them, and it’s not just the play on the ice.

“If we get to that far, yeah, there’s going to be some explanation that’s going to have to go on, and we’ll see how they have to sell it, if it comes to that.”

Related: Yzerman: Lightning are ‘actively and aggressively’ trying to trade Drouin