Mike Halford

Matt Fraser, Ben Bishop
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Journeyman Fraser signs in Swedish League

Matt Fraser, perhaps best remembered as one of the parts of the Tyler Seguin-to-Dallas trade, has taken his game overseas to sign with Rogle of the Swedish Hockey League.

Fraser, 26, broke in with Dallas in 2011-12 before getting shipped to Boston, where he scored five goals in 38 games over a two-year stretch.

That stint also included the biggest highlight of his NHL career, scoring a playoff OT winner against Montreal:

The B’s waived Fraser during the ’14-15 campaign, and he was claimed by Edmonton. He then proceeded to score five goals and nine points in 36 games for the Oilers, but wasn’t given a qualifying offer and later signed with the Jets in free agency.

Fraser never played for Winnipeg, though. He spent all of his time with AHL Manitoba before getting flipped to Chicago in the Andrew Ladd deadline blockbuster.

Fraser then closed out last year with AHL Rockford.

Montreal prospect Reway hospitalized with virus, will miss camp

TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 5:  Martin Reway #10 of Team Slovakia skates against Team Sweden during the Bronze medal game in the 2015 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship at the Air Canada Centre on January 5, 2015 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Team Slovakia defeated Team Sweden 4-2 to win the Bronze medal. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

On Thursday, Habs GM Marc Bergevin announced that Martin Reway — the club’s fourth round pick at the 2013 draft — would miss this month’s training camp due to a virus.

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Reway, 21, is currently hospitalized in Slovakia where he is undergoing treatment for a virus.

The Canadiens’ head physician, Dr. David Mulder, is closely monitoring Martin Reway’s health status, in collaboration with the medical team in Slovakia.

There were no details on what virus Reway is currently dealing with.

A former offensive star with QMJHL Gatineau, Reway’s spent the last two years playing professionally in Europe, split between Sparta Praha of the Czech League and Swiss club Fribourg-Gotteron.

Reway was also a driving force for Slovakia’s surprise bronze medal win at the 2015 World Juniors, finishing with nine points in seven games.

‘It’s the perfect fit’ — Preds officially name Fisher captain

Mike Fisher
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Nashville did the expected on Thursday, naming veteran forward Mike Fisher the seventh team captain in franchise history.

“It is the right time for Mike to be the captain in our history,” GM David Poile said, per the Preds website. “In my mind, he could’ve easily been the captain many times in his career, but this is his time; it’s the perfect fit.”

Fisher, 36, certainly seems like the ideal pick. He’s one of Nashville’s longest tenured players, having been with the club for the last six seasons, and served as an alternate with both the Preds and Senators.

He’s well-established in the community, married to country music star Carrie Underwood, and has earned the respect of both his peers and his head coach, Peter Laviolette, who called Fisher “probably one of the best pros I’ve ever seen.”

Fisher takes over the captaincy from Shea Weber, who was shipped to Montreal in this summer’s blockbuster trade that saw P.K. Subban join the Preds.

Roman Josi and James Neal — who, along with Fisher, all served as alternates last season — are expected to retain their A’s, though the Preds didn’t confirm that in today’s release.

Updated: Worth noting that, per the Tennessean, Poile said he doesn’t view Fisher’s anointment as a “one-year captaincy.” That declaration is key with regards to the Subban acquisition. Destined to be a star in Nashville and a potential face of the franchise — for a long time, too, armed with a contract through 2022 — Subban was thought, by some, to be a future Preds captain.

 

World Cup goalie nods: Rinne over Rask for Finland in exhibition opener

Nashville Predators' goalie Pekka Rinne makes a save as they face the Montreal Canadiens during second period NHL hockey action in Montreal on Monday, Feb. 22, 2016. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
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Today, we’ll get our first look at six of the teams participating in the upcoming World Cup of Hockey and, subsequently, the starting goalies for said teams.

So without further ado, here are your starters for today’s exhibition openers…

Sweden at Finland: The Finns will start Pekka Rinne over Tuukka Rask in the opener, though Rask is slated to get the start when the two sides meet again on Saturday at the Scandanavium in Sweden.

Finland’s third goalie, Mikko Koskinen, is expected to be exactly that throughout the exhibition stint and tournament — Finland’s third goalie.

Sweden, meanwhile, will start Jacob Markstrom tonight with Jhonas Enroth listed as his backup. The country’s regular No. 1, Henrik Lundqvist, won’t dress for the opener — something head coach Rikard Gronborg said was planned before Lundqvist suffered a rib injury during practice last week.

Czech Republic at Russia: Per NHL.com, Petr Mrazek will get the nod over Michal Neuvirth for the Czechs as they open exhibition play at the Yubileyny Sports Palace. This comes after Tuesday’s news that the Czechs are only going to play Mrazek and NeuvirthOndrej Pavelec, the veteran Jets netminder, will serve as the No. 3 throughout.

Russian head coach Oleg Znarok hasn’t made it official yet, but it’s believed Sergei Bobrovsky will get start in goal ahead of Semyon Varlamov and Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Team Europe at Team North America: Per TVA, Jaroslav Halak will get the nod for Europe over Thomas Greiss and Philipp Grubauer, a late addition to the squad after Frederik Andersen was ruled out due to injury.

It’s a bit of an interesting dynamic at play, as both Greiss and Halak are also competing for the No. 1 gig with the Islanders. Greiss, you’ll recall, filled in admirably for the injured Halak last season and helped the Isles win their first playoff series since 1993.

For Team North America, no big surprises — GM Peter Chiarelli said Matt Murray was the team’s No. 1 netminder coming into the tourney, and he’ll get the start tonight. John Gibson is expected to back up.

Trade to Chicago was a ‘disaster,’ says Weise

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 23:  Dale Weise #25 of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrates a second period goal against the St. Louis Blues in Game Six of the Western Conference First Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center on April 23, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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None of Chicago’s trade deadline pickups last season panned out very well.

Andrew Ladd was OK, but didn’t produce much in the playoffs. Tomas Fleischmann looked decent during the regular season, then faded. Christian Ehrhoff was a non-factor.

And then there was Dale Weise.

“Going to Chicago was a disaster,” Weise said of his brief cameo in a Blackhawks uniform, per Philly.com. “I played like five minutes a night. It’s pretty tough to do anything when you play so little. It was a new experience for me.”

Weise is mitigating his role. To be accurate, he averaged 9:57 over 15 regular season contests, and 8:24 in four playoff games.

But that doesn’t mean he was a bigger presence on the team than he thought. He sat as a healthy scratch on a few occasions and really struggled to find the back of the net, which was at direct odds with the rest of his campaign — prior to the trade, Weise scored a career-best 14 goals with Montreal, in just 56 games.

It was pretty clear head coach Joel Quenneville wasn’t a huge fan.

But you know who was? Flyers GM Ron Hextall, who opened up the checkbook this summer to ink Weise to a four-year, $9.4 million deal.

That contract carries a $2.35 million average annual cap hit, which is a really nice payday. Prior to this, Weise had never earned more than $1.025M in a single season.

It’ll be interesting to see if Weise can match the success he had in Montreal. Philly does need someone to replace the sandpaper lost with Ryan White‘s exit in free agency, and could use some more balanced scoring in the bottom six forward group.