Mike Halford

Tomas Jurco
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Wings finally get good health news, remove Jurco from LTIR

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DETROIT (AP) The Detroit Red Wings removed forward Tomas Jurco from long-term injured reserve and recalled him from Grand Rapids of the AHL on Monday.

The 23-year-old Jurco has not played yet this season for the Red Wings because of offseason back surgery. He had four goals and two assists in 44 games for Detroit last season.

Detroit also put forward Tyler Bertuzzi and defenseman Brendan Smith on seven-day injured reserve.

The Red Wings host Dallas on Tuesday night.

Related: Injuries keep piling up in Detroit, Smith out four weeks

‘Canes put Staal on IR with concussion, no timetable for return

Jordan Staal
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Things had been going Carolina’s way lately — the ‘Canes were 6-2-0 in their last eight, and rallied to beat the Panthers on Sunday night — but that all changed on Monday, as GM Ron Francis announced Jordan Staal had suffered a concussion.

Per the Raleigh News & Observer, there is no timetable for Staal’s return.

Staal suffered the concussion early in the first period of yesterday’s game, and didn’t return. It was a big hole to fill for the ‘Canes — and it will be, for the foreseeable future.

The 28-year-old has a pretty big role in Carolina, and is the club’s top defensive center. He averages a healthy 18:29 TOI per game, and is one of the club’s best faceoff men, winning draws at a 60 percent clip.

Last year, Staal scored 20 goals for the first time since being acquired by the ‘Canes. He was off to a modest offensive start this year, with five goals and nine points through 21 contests.

The next few weeks could be crucial for the ‘Canes, as they adjust to life without No. 11 while trying to climb back into playoff positioning.

It’s expected that Teuvo Teravainen and/or Elias Lindholm will get minutes down the middle with Staal out, as could rookie Sebastian Aho. Whether or not they can fill all the holes remains to be seen — Staal featured prominently on the penalty kill, and mans the power play — but head coach Bill Peters doesn’t have a ton of options at his disposal.

Carolina did recall Phil Di Giuseppe from AHL Charlotte on Monday. He’s proven to be a fairly effective offensive producer in the past — in his rookie year, he scored seven goals and 17 points in 41 games.

Goalie nods: Isles start Greiss for third time in four games

FILE - In this March 12, 2016, file photo, New York Islanders goalieThomas Greiss pauses during the team's NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins in Boston. Greiss has received the bulk of the starts after starting goalie Jarsolav Halak was injured last month. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)
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The Islanders are back from their Western road swing, and the club’s goalie of record in two of the three games — Thomas Greiss — will be in net once again tonight, when the Flames visit Barclays.

Greiss beat the Ducks in a shootout to start the trip, then allowed three goals on 28 shots in a loss to San Jose to finish it (Jaroslav Halak played in Wednesday’s 4-2 loss in L.A.) On the year, Greiss’ numbers are adequate — .915 save percentage, 2.62 GAA — and he’s hardly been the club’s biggest concern.

Halak’s agent, Allan Walsh, voiced his client’s displeasure with the current three-goalie system, and the Isles reportedly responded by gauging the trade market.

The third goalie, J-F Berube, hasn’t played a single minute despite being on the active roster all year, and the Isles still aren’t sure how to address the situation.

As always, the goalie situation in Brooklyn will be one to follow.

For Calgary, Brian Elliott gets the nod.

Elsewhere…

— Just one other game on the slate tonight: Dallas at St. Louis. The Stars will go with Antti Niemi, after he made 30 saves in an impressive win over Vancouver on Friday. The Blues will counter with Jake Allen, who’s riding a five-game winning streak.

Oilers waive Fayne for second time in as many seasons

Ales Hemsky, Andrej Sekera
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Edmonton has put veteran d-man Mark Fayne on waivers again.

Fayne, 29, has only appeared in one game this season, playing just 2:27 in a mid-October game against Carolina before exiting with an injury. That landed him on IR — he did register an assist before getting hurt, though — and it seems the plan is to now pass him through waivers, and send him to AHL Bakersfield.

(Unless, of course, another team claims him.)

In July of 2014, the Oilers signed Fayne to a four-year, $14.5 million deal, with then-GM Craig MacTavish calling him “a very good defender” that made plays “highly effectively.”

Roughly 17 months after inking that contract, Fayne fell out of favor with new head coach Todd McLellan, and saw his role drastically reduced. The former Devils rearguard averaged just 16:43 TOI last season, got waived in December, and appeared in 69 contests (and four for the Condors, his first AHL stint since the ’10-11 campaign).

Fayne has two years left on his deal, with an average annual cap hit of $3.625 million. Should he go to Bakersfield, he’ll add to Edmonton’s amount of money committed to players not on the active roster — Andrew Ference remains on LTIR, Lauri Korpikoski was bought out (and is now playing for Dallas) while Anton Lander is also buried in the minors.

Dallas shakes up defense (again), healthy scratches Hamhuis (again)

DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 20:  Trevor Lewis #22 of the Los Angeles Kings skates the puck past Dan Hamhuis #2 of the Dallas Stars in the second period at American Airlines Center on October 20, 2016 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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The winds of change continue to blow through the Stars’ blueline.

Veteran Dan Hamhuis, signed this summer to a two-year, $7.5 million deal, will be a healthy scratch for the second time this season when Dallas takes on St. Louis Monday evening, per the Morning-News.

Stephen Johns, who was sent to the minors last week and quickly recalled, will also be parked in the press box.

“There’s a couple things in play,” head coach Lindy Ruff explained (per the Morning-News’ Mike Heika). “We really feel we’re going to use eight defensemen. The other thing with Johns is if I play him tonight and play him tomorrow, that’s four games in five nights.

“So you pick which games you want to get him in. For [Patrik] Nemeth, he’s a big strong defenseman that we want to get back in the lineup.”

Nemeth hasn’t played since Nov. 21, when he received just under 16 minutes in a OT win over Minnesota.

As for Hamhuis, his demotion comes after receiving a season-low 16:06 in Friday’s 2-1 win over his former team, the Canucks. In that game, he was beaten by Vancouver forward Jason Megna for the only goal surrendered on the night.

Hamhuis, 33, has had a difficult time transitioning to his new team, but has still been a regular lineup presence. He and John Klingberg are tied for the team lead in games played by a defenseman, with 21.

As mentioned above, Ruff has already sat Hamhuis once this season — following a 4-1 loss to the Jets on Oct. 27 — and admitted it was a tough decision to make.

“I went and talked to him, and those aren’t easy conversations. Understandably, you’ve got an upset player,” Ruff told the Dallas Morning News. “But it’s a strong message, and it’s a message that needs to be carried — it’s not good enough. I know it’s tough when you come from another team, but right now we’ve got to find less excuses and more reasons to win a game.”

Ruff has spent most of this season juggling defensemen in and out of the lineup. Nine different guys have suited up, including promising rookie Julius Honka, who made his NHL debut last week. Nemeth, Johns, Jamie Oleksiak and Esa Lindell have all platooned in and out, and that will likely continue as the Stars try to find the right mix with veteran Johnny Oduya (lower body) on IR, and out indefinitely.

In other Dallas lineup news, Jason Spezza could end up on the club’s fourth line tonight. But Ruff also suggested he could go back to the lines he used on the Stars’ last road trip… so, maybe not.