Mike Halford

You've heard the expression "let's get busy?" Well, Mike Halford is a blogger who gets "biz-zay!" Consistently and thoroughly.

Kids are all right: Strome, Crouse, Chychrun and Dvorak make Coyotes roster


Say this about the Arizona Coyotes — they’re going to be exciting to watch.

After stockpiling young talent via the draft and trades, Arizona will open the campaign with an incredibly youth-laden roster — fitting for a team run by the NHL’s youngest GM, John Chayka.

First, the newbies: 18-year-old Jakob Chychrun (16th overall, ’16), 19-year-old Dylan Strome (third overall, ’15), 19-year-old Lawson Crouse (11th overall, ’15) and 20-year-old Christian Dvorak (58th overall, ’14) are all set to make their big league debuts when the Coyotes open against Philly on Saturday.

They’ll be joined by the “old guard” — Max Domi (21 years old), Anthony Duclair (21) and Laurent Dauphin (21), all of whom have varied experience at the NHL level.

It’s an attention-grabbing bit of news from the desert, to say the least.

Head coach Dave Tippett will have his work cut out for him this season. Chychrun, Strome, Crouse and Dvorak are all making the leap directly from junior hockey, and there’s bound to be a significant learning curve ahead.

That said, Tippett seems ready for the challenge.

Aside from being regarded as one of the NHL’s best coaches, Tippett gained some valuable experience coaching younger players at the World Cup, where he was on Todd McLellan’s Team North America staff.

“Young or old, you just want good players,” Tippett said following the tourney, per TSN. “And so many of the young players today are very good players.”

Fleury fails to crack ‘Canes roster, but McKeown makes it (for now)


We’ve written plenty about Carolina’s promising young blueline, one that, last year, featured the likes of Noah Hanifin, Jaccob Slavin, Brett Pesce, Ryan Murphy and Justin Faulk — all aged 24 or younger.

The youth didn’t stop there, either, as several other young prospects were knocking at the door.

But on Monday the knocking stopped for a few.

The notables? Haydn Fleury, the seventh overall pick in 2014, who was demoted to AHL Charlotte and Trevor Carrick, the 22-year-old that made his NHL debut last season.

A third good young d-man, Roland McKeown, is sticking around — but nobody’s sure for how long. The ‘Canes added a pair of veteran defensemen in recent days (Klas Dahlbeck via waivers, Jakub Nakladal via free agency) and Nakladal’s status is “non-roster” due to immigration issues.

Fleury, 20, will no doubt be disappointed by today’s development, though it’s hardly a disastrous setback. The ‘Canes have been pretty methodical in bringing him along — Fleury played four full years with WHL Red Deer — and he’s barely spent any time in the American League.

In that light, going to Charlotte is probably a good thing.

Overall, today’s moves still give the ‘Canes a very young, very exciting outlook for the season. We’ve already mentioned the youth on defense, and the forwards aren’t much older: Sebastian Aho, Elias Lindholm, Phil Di Guiseppe, Viktor Rask, Teuvo Teravainen and Martin Frk are all 23 or younger.

Isles roster features two 19-year-olds — and three goalies

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After a busy last couple days in Brooklyn, the Isles have their opening night roster.

And it’s a unique one, to say the least.

As expected, 19-year-olds Mathew Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier — the 16th and 28th overall picks at the 2015 draft — have cracked the 23-man list, after PA Parenteau was claimed off waivers by New Jersey and d-men Adam Pelech and Ryan Pulock were sent to AHL Bridgeport.

(Veteran forward Eric Boulton was placed on IR with a lower-body injury.)

In net, the Isles forged ahead with their three-goalie system: JF Berube, Thomas Greiss and Jaroslav Halak are all still around, and head coach Jack Capuano added some intrigue when he said Halak might not be ready for Thursday’s season opener against the Rangers at MSG.

While that initially caused some consternation — Halak is fairly injury-prone — Newsday quickly calmed things down by reporting that Halak is sick, not injured.

So when the dust settled, New York emerged with a roster comprised of the three goalies, 14 forwards and six defensemen.

Today’s demotions would suggest that Pelech and Pulock will be the first called upon should Capuano need blueline help, or injuries hit one of Johnny Boychuk, Calvin de Haan, Travis Hamonic, Thomas Hickey, Nick Leddy or Dennis Seidenberg.

Panthers make another minor trade, send Brickley to ‘Canes for Sutter

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Florida continues to make depth moves ahead of today’s roster deadline — this afternoon, the Panthers announced they’ve acquired Brody Sutter from Carolina in exchange for Connor Brickley.

Sutter, 25, is a big-bodied winger that’s spent the last few years shuffling between the ‘Canes and their AHL affiliate in Charlotte. The 6-foot-5, 203-pounder has 12 career NHL games on his resume.

Brickley, 24, only made his NHL debut last year but fared reasonably well, scoring five points in 23 contests. He’s also proven to be a pretty effective scorer at the American League level, with 34 goals over the last two campaigns.

“Connor saw his first NHL action last season after scoring 22 goals in the AHL the season before,” ‘Canes GM Ron Francis said in a release. “We look forward to seeing his continued development as his career progresses.”

The 50th overall pick in 2010, Brickley found it tough breaking into Florida’s deep forward group on a regular basis.

As mentioned above, this is the second small-ish deal the Panthers have swung in recent days. Over the weekend, they sent d-man Jonathan Racine to Montreal for Tim Bozon.

Sharks send first-rounders Mueller, Goldobin to AHL


Two of San Jose’s better young prospects are on their way to the minors.

Defenseman Mirco Mueller, the 18th overall pick in 2013, and forward Nikolay Goldobin — the 27th overall pick in ’14 — have been sent to the club’s AHL affiliate, the Barracuda.

Mueller, 21, has appeared in 50 career games for the Sharks, including 11 last season. He didn’t dress for any playoffs games, when the club advanced to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in franchise history.

Goldobin, also 21, made his NHL debut last season and appeared in nine games, scoring two points. He’s been a pretty solid producer at the American league level, tying for the Barracuda team lead in goals last year (with 21 in 60 contests).

San Jose also sent four other players to the minors today: Ryan Carpenter, Barclay Goodrow, Dan Kelly and Kevin Lablanc. That puts the opening-night roster at 23, and it includes another of the club’s key prospects — Timo Meier, who’s currently sidelined with mononucleosis.

Per CSN Bay Area, Meier (ninth overall, ’15) will likely head down to the AHL when he’s healthy.