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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Konecny and Provorov make Flyers, expected ‘to be here all year’

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The last time Philly had two 19-year-olds on the opening-night roster was in 2000.

Now, 16 years later, it’s happening again.

On Monday, Flyers GM Ron Hextall confirmed that the club’s two first-round picks at the 2015 draft — Ivan Provorov and Travis Konecny — have made the team out of training camp, and will stick with the big club for the duration of the season.

“They earned it,’ Hextall said, per Philly.com. “They’re here. They made our team. This isn’t a tryout. If I felt like either player wasn’t ready to be here the whole year, they wouldn’t be here right now.”

Both players are going to assume big roles right off the bat. Konecny, who led the Flyers in preseason scoring with six points, will skate on the second line alongside Sean Couturier and Jakub Voracek.

Provorov will play on a defensive pairing with veteran Mark Streit.

These are exciting times for the Flyers. The club will head into the season boasting some incredibly bright young talents — Konecny and Provorov are part of a group that includes Calder finalist Shayne Gostisbehere (23 years old), Couturier (23), Nick Cousins (23) and the injured Scott Laughton (21).

 

 

Avs sign both Bourques, after bringing them to camp on PTOs

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First Ray, now Rene and Gabriel.

The Colorado Avalanche added to their collection of Bourques on Monday, inking both Gabriel Bourque and Rene Bourque after the pair participated in training camp on professional tryouts.

Rene, 34, landed his contract after leading the club in preseason scoring, with a goal and four points in five games. Gabriel, 26, had a single assist in four contests.

Not long after signing Gabriel, the Avs placed him on waivers.

In other moves out of Denver today, the team sent defenseman Duncan Siemens to AHL San Antonio and waived forward Mike Sislo.

 

 

Sidney Crosby diagnosed with concussion

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Sidney Crosby, in the midst of arguably the most successful year of his NHL career, has been dealt a significant blow — on Monday, the Penguins announced he’s been diagnosed with a concussion.

More, from the club:

Crosby sat out Saturday’s preseason game vs. Columbus because he was not feeling well, and missed practice today to undergo concussion testing.

Crosby’s status will be updated when more information is available. The Penguins open the regular season Thursday night against Washington at PPG Paints Arena.

Sullivan added that Crosby’s concussion occurred on Friday at practice.

Crosby’s history with concussions is well documented. He missed 11 months of action in 2011 after suffering one during the Winter Classic, briefly returned, then sat out another significant length of time dealing with post-concussion symptoms.

He told reporters that, during what was a slow and lengthy recovery, he wondered if his playing days were over.

“I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I thought about it,” Crosby said, per the Globe and Mail.

Crosby, 29, captured the second Stanley Cup of his career in June, winning the Conn Smythe as playoff MVP. He then captained Team Canada to gold at the recently-wrapped World Cup of Hockey, and picked up MVP honors at that tournament as well.

Flames release Higgins from PTO

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Chris Higgins’ bid to earn a contract with the Flames is over.

On Monday, Calgary announced it had released Higgins from his professional tryout, just one day after dumping another veteran — Lauri Korpikoski — from his PTO.

(If there’s a silver lining for Higgins, it’s that Korpikoski quickly found work, signing on with Dallas.)

Higgins, 33, was extended a camp invite in the hopes of potentially helping Calgary’s shaky penalty kill, but his work in the preseason failed to win over management. Foot speed, or lack thereof, has been an issue.

One has to wonder if this is the end of the line. Higgins was bought out of his contract in Vancouver last year after the Canucks were unable to trade him, then sent him down to the AHL.

If so, the former first-round pick had a pretty good run. Higgins has appeared in over 700 NHL contests, recording three 20-goal seasons and 165 total for his career.

 

 

Michalek, Condra, Scuderi among notable vets on waivers

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NHL clubs continued to shuffle their decks today in advance of Tuesday’s roster deadline, which resulted in several older, familiar names on the waiver wire.

A quick rundown:

— Arizona waived longtime blueliner Zbynek Michalek. Michalek, 33, is in the last of a two-year, $6.4 million deal with a $3.2M average annual cap hit, and averaged just over 17 minutes a night in 70 games last year. This move could mean that Jakob Chychrun, the 16th overall pick at this year’s draft, will make the Coyotes’ opening-night roster.

— Just one year after signing a three-year, $3.75 million deal with the Bolts, Erik Condra is on waivers. The 30-year-old winger was a disappointment last season, with just 11 points in 54 games, and appeared to be in a battle for a roster spot throughout the preseason. With reports that GM Steve Yzerman is close to signing star RFA Nikita Kucherov, it’s possible Condra’s contract is buried in the AHL to squeeze a few extra dollars under the cap. Assuming Condra clears waivers, that is.

Rob Scuderi, heading into the last of a four-year, $13.5 million deal that’s been passed around like a hot potato, has been waived by Los Angeles. The 37-year-old originally signed the deal with Pittsburgh, but was then traded to Chicago, and then again to L.A. (the Pens retained most of his salary). Last year he suited up for all three teams, going goalless with 10 points in 63 games. He also appeared in all five of the Kings’ playoff games in an opening-round loss to San Jose, averaging 19:20 TOI per night.

Other notables:

— Calgary dumped tough guy Brandon Bollig, who has one year left on his three-year, $3.75 million deal.

— The Habs did the expected and waived goalie Mike Condon. Condon lost his backup gig to Al Montoya.

— Columbus exposed Gregory Campbell to the wire, with the 32-year-old midway through his two-year, $3 million deal. This comes after Campbell played all 82 games last year, scoring 11 points.

— In addition to Condra, the Bolts also waived Cory Conacher. Conacher was brought back to the organization this year after spending some time in Europe, in the hopes of rediscovering chemistry with head coach Jon Cooper.

Related:

Isles waive Parenteau in surprise move

Jets put Pavelec on the wire