Author: Mike Halford

Lulea Hockey v Frolunda Gothenburg - Champions Hockey League Final

Stars sign Janmark, acquired in Cole trade, to two-year, $1.46M deal


The Dallas Stars have locked in one of the assets acquired from the Erik Cole deadline deal, signing forward Mattias Janmark to a two-year deal.

The contract, announced via Twitter by agency Uptown Sports, is worth $1.46M and of the two-way variety, according to TVA Sports. That puts the Swede — taken 79th overall by Detroit at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft — on a $734,000 average annual cap hit though, per reports from SHL club Frolunda, he is expected to play in Europe next season.

That said, the Stars are getting a look at Janmark now, as he’s been brought over to participate in the Calder Cup playoffs with AHL Texas. It’ll be interesting to see how he fares; he, along with Mattias Backman, were the two pieces Dallas acquired for Cole and Janmark has proven to be a good scorer in Sweden, racking up 36 points in 55 games this season.

Longtime NHL d-man Jiri Slegr calls it a career

Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs

Journeyman blueliner Jiri Slegr, who appeared in over 600 NHL contests with six different organizations, announced his retirement from professional hockey after a final season with HC Litvinov of the Czech League.

Slegr, 43, broke into the NHL with Vancouver during the 1992-93 season and went on to play for Pittsburgh, Boston, Edmonton, Atlanta and Detroit, winning a Stanley Cup with the Wings in 2002.

A decorated international competitor, Slegr has represented his country of a number of occasions and won a pair of Olympic medals — a bronze under the Czechoslovakian banner in 1992, then, famously a gold in ’98 as the Dominik Hasek-led Czech Repblic squad won it all in Nagano in the first Winter Games to feature NHL players.

Slegr last played for Boston during the 2005-06 campaign, and has spent the last several seasons playing in his native country. He also had a brief foray into politics that saw him step away from hockey for a few years, only to return playing in 2013.

Stayin’ Alive: Canucks stage comeback of their own, send series back to Calgary

Nick Bonino

VANCOUVER — The Canucks fought to play another day.

In one of its hardest-working and most determined efforts of the opening round, Vancouver beat Calgary 2-1 on Thursday in Game 5, staving off elimination while sending the series back to the Saddledome trailing three games to two.

“I thought from the get-go, the whole team had a good game,” Daniel Sedin said. “These are fun games to be a part of. It’s do or die and we played a solid 60 minutes.

“It was probably our best game of the series.”

Sedin scored the game-winner just 1:47 into the third period. Nick Bonino had netted the equalizer midway through the game — after trailing for nearly 30 minutes — as Vancouver gave the Flames a bit of their own medicine from Game 1, when the Flames trailed for the majority of the contest and scored the winner in the final frame.

As they’ve done for most of the series, the Canucks controlled 5-on-5 possession. They’re hoping that will pay dividends.

“They have to get tired (from) all the zone time and shots and protecting down low. I think it should pay off,” Sedin said. “But it’s a new game Saturday. We’re going to have to bring it again.”

As you’d expect in a 2-1 game, both goalies played a major role. Jonas Hiller was outstanding in the Calgary net, making 41 saves while Ryan Miller, making his first playoff start as a Canuck, stopped 20 of 21 shots.

“They ran the system really well, we were great on the PK late,” Miller said of his Canuck teammates. “All the credit to the guys in front of me.”

The Flames will likely be disappointed in their inability to close things out, and won’t like tonight’s disparity in zone play. That said, they’re still in relatively good shape and have another opportunity to close out the series on Saturday at home.

“It’s all about our character,” Flames head coach Bob Hartley said. “Once again we’re facing adversity, but that’s what we’ve done all year. Our young players have done well, our veterans are used to it.”

The Canucks, meanwhile, will be buoyed by tonight’s performance and a stingy defensive effort in front of Miller, who broke from his normally stoic demeanor in the post-game celebration, enthusiastically hyping up the Vancouver crowd.

There’s a long way to go from 3-1 down, but the Canucks make a significant move in that direction tonight.


Bonino scored his first playoff goal as a Canuck and now has three points in his last four games… The 43 shots on goal were easily Vancouver’s most of the series, eclipsing the previous high of 32 in Game 2… T.J. Brodie led all skaters with 27:21 TOI, while Dennis Wideman finished second with 27:01.