- Texas man arrested for powder-letter hoax
- Islamic State opens ‘marriage bureau’ for single jihadists
- Drone almost blocks California firefighting planes
- Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston
- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s gay marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
Veteran Jeff Halpern thankful to get chance with Rangers
Former Caps assistant Johnson takes same gig with Sharks
Question of the Day
Jeff Halpern just wanted a second opinion. His season with the Washington Capitals didn’t exactly go as planned, and it was obvious long before official confirmation in June that he wouldn’t be back.
He got that this week from the New York Rangers, who signed the veteran center to a one-year deal worth $700,000. For the 36-year-old, it was relief to know he has a place to play next season on a guaranteed contract and that it was wrapped up this early.
“I was hoping that one person’s opinion would be different than someone else’s opinion,” the Potomac, Md., native said Tuesday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. “I’m happy to get an opportunity to go back to work and with a good organization and a good coach and a good team.”
Halpern will likely fill a specific role for the Rangers as a fourth-line center and faceoff and penalty-killing specialist. While he might have lost a step this past season, his 12th in the NHL, Halpern was still fifth in the league in faceoffs at 58.3 percent.
In New York, he’s reunited with John Tortorella, who coached him for 19 games with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2008. In those 19 games, Halpern had 10 goals and eight assists.
His production dropped this past season with the Caps, and he was banished to the press box as a healthy scratch for 12 of the final 15 regular-season games and all but the final two in the playoffs.
But Halpern will remember his second tour of duty in Washington for more than that frustrating stretch.
“I think the biggest thing is just the relationships and the friendships I’ve made with the guys on the team,” Halpern said. “It was a great group; it was amazing coming back here and be able to play in kind of a new hockey environment. It’s a hockey-crazy fan base. It’s a credit to the organization and the players. I enjoyed every part of it.”
Johnson goes to Sharks
Jim Johnson was coach Dale Hunter’s guy when hired as an assistant in late November. Not surprisingly, his tenure with the Caps was not going to continue beyond Hunter’s.
This week he officially moved on, taking a new job as an assistant coach with the San Jose Sharks.
Amid a search for Hunter’s replacement, Johnson did not get serious consideration from general manager George McPhee.
“We talked briefly with George about it. He had called me and said it looked like they were going to go in another direction,” Johnson said in a phone interview. “At that point, I kind of knew I was not going to be interviewed for that position.”
McPhee, whom Johnson praised for his professionalism throughout the process, granted Sharks general manager Doug Wilson permission to talk to him. By the time Adam Oates was named Caps coach, Johnson had already gone through a number of interviews with the Sharks.
“I really liked where it was going; I had a really good feeling of where it was going here but yet didn’t really know if I was going to get the job or not,” Johnson said. “When Adam was hired, things progressed with San Jose and I just thought it was a good opportunity for me at this point.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- WHYNO: Tomas Vokoun gets unexpected Stanley Cup shot with Penguins
- Brandon Meriweather, Redskins' secondary ready for bounceback year
- Kirk Cousins embraces role as Redskins' offseason starter as RG3 rehabs from injury
- Capitals notes: Realignment won't prompt roster remake
- Despite Caps' first-round playoff exit, Adam Oates' first season as coach left a positive taste
Latest Blog Entries
- Redskins injury updates (5/23): WR Pierre Garcon, CB Josh Wilson each had labrum surgery
- Capitals 'love' Matt Hendricks, but how much?
- Wojtek Wolski signs in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League
- Tom Poti won't return to Capitals, plans to continue his NHL career
- Is Tom Wilson ready to be a regular for Capitals?
By David Keene
Allowing states to innovate could reduce dependency on bureaucracy
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: 'Obama, Obama, where are you?'
- Border surge puts Obama legacy on immigration at stake
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- Romney would win popular vote in rematch against Obama: CNN poll
- Babson College, BYU win top spots in Money magazine's college rankings
- White House says Russia 'losing' war in Ukraine
- D.C. plans to seek stay of order striking down ban on handguns in public
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq