Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/09/14 at 10:00 AM ET
from Craig Morgan of Fox Sports Arizona,
Jeff Halpern was playing for TPS Tuurku in Finland when the 2013-2014 NHL season began. He wasn't there for money; he was there to prolong a once-unlikely dream.
"I didn't ask for or want any money in Finland. I just wanted a chance to go get some game action," said Halpern, who hadn't received any NHL offers after playing out his contract in Montreal last season. "A good friend of mine, (former NHL player) Brian Willsie, had a contract with Tuurku, but for tax reasons he couldn't play for the first month, so there was a three-week period where I could go over there and play to try and stay in shape."
Five games into the NHL season, the Coyotes signed Halpern to a one-year, two-way contract to fill their gaping hole at fourth-line center, improve their face-off percentage and help the penalty-killing unit recover from the loss of free agent Boyd Gordon. The 37-year-old "Southerner" got another chance to continue the only profession he ever truly wanted.
"Some guys have to work a little harder to get where they want to go in life," said Coyotes coach Dave Tippett, an 11-year NHL grinder himself. "It's a testament to Halpy's ethic that's he's still around after all this time."
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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