Author: Mike Halford


Detroit’s Miller bloodied, exits quickly after taking skate to face (Updated)


Frightening scene in Detroit on Tuesday as veteran Red Wings forward Drew Miller exited tonight’s tilt against Ottawa after taking Mark Stone’s skate to the face:

Another angle, courtesy SB Nation:


The incident occurred early in the first period with no score in the game. The Wings have yet to update on Miller’s status, or if he’ll be held out for the remainder of the game.

Miller, 31, has five goals and 13 points in 75 games this year for the Red Wings, and is one of only five players on the team to have suited up for every contest this season.

Update: From Yahoo’s Nick Cotsonika…

Video: Ovi becomes sixth player in history to record six 50-goal seasons

Alex Ovechkin

Washington captain Alex Ovechkin reached another milestone on Tuesday night by scoring his 50th goal of the year against Carolina:

With the marker, Ovechkin joined some illustrious company; in the history of the NHL only he, Mike Bossy (9), Wayne Gretzky (9), Marcel Dionne (6), Guy Lafleur (6) and Mario Lemieux (6) have recorded six or more 50-goal campaigns.

Tonight’s goal also put Ovechkin 10 clear of second-place Steve Stamkos in the Rocket Richard race, which all but ensures Ovi will capture the league’s goalscoring title for a record fifth time. It also ties him with Peter Bondra for the franchise lead in goals, with 472.

So yeah, pretty memorable night for No. 8.

NHL bringing back draft pick compensation this offseason for hiring away coaches, GMs

Colorado Avalanche v Detroit Red Wings

No more free cupboard raiding for NHL teams.

Per Pierre LeBrun, this summer will mark the league’s implementation (or, re-implementation) of draft pick compensation for teams that lose coaches, general managers and presidents while still under contract.

More, from TSN’s Insider Trading segment:

If it’s an offseason hire for either a president of hockey operations, a GM or a head coach, it’s a third-round pick that goes the other way for a guy that’s under contract. If it’s an in-season hire, it’s a second-round pick.

For a coach, the season ends as soon as his season ends but for a GM or president of hockey operations, the draft is the cutoff for in-season/offseason.

The Board of Governors voted on and approved compensation last summer but, as LeBrun notes, the language wasn’t quite “set up” as to how things would work. This will mark the first time since 2006 compensation will be used; back then, it was the Senators receiving a conditional draft pick from Boston after the Bruins hired away their assistant GM, Peter Chiarelli.

The re-implementation will likely please Detroit GM Ken Holland. After losing a pair of executives in Jim Nill (to Dallas) and Steve Yzerman (to Tampa Bay) and a series of coaches (Todd McLellan to San Jose, Paul MacLean to Ottawa, Bill Peters to Carolina) Holland wouldn’t allow AHL Grand Rapids head coach Jeff Blashill to interview for other coaching gigs last year, saying he didn’t “want to be a development team for other people.”

Contract stalemate continues between Columbus, prized prospect Reilly

2014 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship - Semifinals

Doesn’t appear as though there’s been much progress on a deal between the Blue Jackets and star University of Minnesota defenseman Mike Reilly.

First, this report from the Columbus Dispatch:

Then this, from TSN’s Bob McKenzie:

“If he wants to, he can say I’m not going back for my final year [at Minnesota] and 30 days later or June 1st — whatever is later — he can declare himself an unrestricted free agent.

“Columbus thinks the world of this guy. He’s a Hobey Baker candidate, a mobile, puck-handling defenseman, but right now there’s no decision imminent on that front. What he’s going to do is finish his academic year at the University of Minnesota, so that means no decision on his future will be forthcoming until we get into May.”

Reilly, 21, was Columbus’ third-round pick (98th overall) at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. A two-time All-American, he became the first d-man in nearly 20 years to lead the Golden Gophers in scoring and, as McKenzie noted above, is highly coveted by the Blue Jackets.

More on that, from the Dispatch:

[Jackets GM Jarmo] Kekalainen and company have tried hard to woo him.

Last spring, they played host to him at Nationwide Arena for the two home playoff games against Pittsburgh. When the Blue Jackets played in St. Paul, Minn., on Jan. 19, Reilly watched the morning skate with Davidson and Kekalainen. Last week, when the Blue Jackets traded defenseman James Wisniewski, Kekalainen mentioned Reilly as a player who has a clearer path to an NHL job.

“Mike Reilly is having a great year in Minnesota,” Kekalainen said. “He’s a prospect we believe in, and he’ll be stepping into some big shoes with our organization. We look forward to getting him signed.”

Should Reilly balk on signing with Columbus and go unrestricted, he’d be following in the footsteps of Kevin Hayes and Justin Schultz, who spurned the Blackhawks and Ducks to sign with the Rangers and Oilers, respectively.

It’s also worth noting that Reilly’s dad, also named Mike, is a minority owner of the Minnesota Wild, which has led to speculation that the younger Reilly could opt to sign with his hometown team.

Bettman shoots down idea of renaming NHL awards

2014 NHL Awards - Arrivals

The NHL won’t be altering its major trophies anytime soon.

That’s what ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reported after discussing the idea of renaming the NHL awards — Hart, Norris, Vezina, etc. etc. — with commissioner Gary Bettman.

From TSN’s Insider Trading:

[Bettman] made it clear it is a no-go for him and the league. Yes, we’ve talked about it before and there are people in hockey ops that like the idea, to honor some of these great players and change the names to names fans have more of a recognition with.

But from Gary Bettman’s perspective, you’re messing with history and why open that can of worms? So for him it is absolutely a no-go, even with the 100th anniversary of the league coming around.

The renaming movement — which has been floated on a number of occasions (see here and here and here) — would see a more modern spin on the awards; as TSN’s James Duthie suggested in the Insider Trading segment, the Hart Trophy for league MVP could be re-named the Gretzky (he has nine, more than any player in history) and the Norris Trophy could be renamed the Orr (he has eight, more than any other blueliner.)

Though it had laid dormant for a while, idea of changing up the award came up recently after the passing of Canadiens legend Jean Beliveau. In January, the Globe and Mail’s Eric Duhatschek suggested renaming the Lady Byng award after Le Gros Bill, based on the fact that Beliveau truly embodied “the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”