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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After Calgary overhauls goaltending, Ortio signs in Sweden

Guess Joni Ortio saw the writing on the wall.

After a summer in which he wasn’t qualified by the Flames, then watched GM Brad Treliving acquire a pair of goalies in Brian Elliott and Chad Johnson, Ortio decided to sign on with Skelleftea of the Swedish League.

Skelleftea announced the move on Wednesday.

The move overseas culminates what was a pretty dramatic fall from grace. Back in ’13-14, Ortio — then just 22 years old — looked to be a bright goaltending prospect, going 27-8-0 with a 2.33 GAA and .926 save percentage with AHL Abbotsford.

That earned him a spot on the league’s All-Rookie team.

Ortio also showed relatively well at the NHL level early in his career, going 4-2-0 with a 2.52 GAA and .908 save percentage in a brief six-game cameo with the Flames.

That led him to announce he wanted to “steal that No. 1 job” for the ’15-16 campaign, something that never came to fruition — Ortio had a very disappointing campaign, was placed on waivers, and put up poor numbers for AHL Stockton.

After acquiring Elliott, Treliving did say he still liked Ortio, adding that the 25-year-old “finished real strong,” so there was some thought Ortio could possibly be back in Calgary as Elliott’s No. 2.

But that thought was extinguished when Treliving signed Johnson on the opening day of free agency.

Bruins ink Peter Mueller to training camp PTO

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Peter Mueller is getting another kick at the can.

On Wednesday, ESPN reported that Mueller — who spent last season with Malmo of the Swedish League — has signed a professional tryout to join Boston at training camp.

It’s an interesting deal for an interesting player.

Mueller, 28, was the eighth overall pick in 2006 and showed promise — including a 22-goal, 54-point rookie campaign with the Coyotes — before getting sidetracked by concussions, and missing all of the 2010-11 season.

He left the NHL in 2013, opting to sign with Kloten of the Swiss League. There, he established himself as one of the league’s best scorers, and landed a deal with St. Louis the following summer.

Mueller failed to stick with the Blues, however, and opted to re-join Kloten rather than accept an AHL assignment. He spent one more year in Switzerland before jumping to Malmo last season, where he had 13 goals and 25 points in 43 games.

Traditionally a center, Mueller will (presumably) be in tough to make the Bruins out of camp. The team has relatively decent depth down the middle in Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, David Backes, Ryan Spooner and the recently signed Dominic Moore.

That said, he does have NHL talent.

Despite parting ways with the Blues two summers ago, GM Doug Armstrong did say “we viewed [Mueller] as a top nine player,” one that would have been back up with the club eventually, had he decided to accept a stint in the American League.

Ovechkin to captain Russia at World Cup

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Team Russia has named its leadership group for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey and, to nobody’s surprise, Alex Ovechkin is spearheading the committee.

Ovechkin will captain the team for the tournament, the Russian Ice Hockey Federation announced on Wednesday. Evgeni Malkin and Pavel Datsyuk will round out the group by serving as alternates.

The decision to slap the “C” on Ovi was a no-brainer. He’s captained Washington for the last six seasons, and served in the same role when Russia won the World Hockey Championships in 2014.

 

‘He’s earned it’ — Jets name Wheeler new captain

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It was widely assumed that Blake Wheeler would inherit Andrew Ladd‘s captaincy in Winnipeg and, on Wednesday, the club made it official.

Wheeler, 30, will become the second player to captain the Jets since the franchise moved from Atlanta in 2011, with Dustin Byfuglien and Mark Scheifele serving as alternates.

The Wheeler decision was something of a no-brainer, as he’s one of the club’s longest tenured player (seven seasons and counting), spending the the last three as one of Ladd’s alternate captains.

In the summer of ’13, Wheeler inked a six-year, $33.6 million extension with the Jets and has since established himself as one of the clubhouse leaders. He was a prominent voice during the Evander Kane saga, mincing no words when explaining what was expected of Jets players.

“There’s a standard that everyone needs to live up to,” Wheeler said, per the Sun. “We’re professionals, we make a lot of money. And we’re expected to uphold a certain standard. That’s the code we live by.

“If you don’t like it then there’s other places to go. This is the way we do things.”

Flyers unveil golden 50th anniversary jerseys

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It might seem inappropriate to release Flyers news on Pittsburgh Penguins day at PHT but, given the immediate backlash to said news, maybe it’s appropriate after all.

On Wednesday, the Flyers unveiled their commemorative 50th anniversary jerseys, which are basically regular Flyers jerseys, but with some gold on them.

Not sure what else to say. They’re gold. Guess it’s worth mentioning the inside collar of each jersey is emblazoned with “EST. 1967,” an homage to the year the Flyers entered the NHL as an expansion franchise.

Oh yeah, Philly will wear the new third jersey 12 times this season, per TSN.

Shortly after the release, the Internet went ahead and did what it does:

For more on the jerseys, click here.