Every once in a while, we’ll come across stories that are
too strange to pass up. Sometimes we’ll get a tip from an e-mail;
sometimes will stumble across something bizarre on a hockey site. Either
way, this might not be the most “pertinent” information but it
certainly will be strange, funny or a bit “off.”
Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution talked to some of the
Atlanta Thrashers about their ‘odd’ rituals before games. Here’s a few:
Hedberg warms up before games the exact same way each time, with Slava
Koslov taking shots at his glove and then his blocker side.
Quote: “I’ve tried to take away every superstition I’ve had.
There are times when some things start creeping in on me again, but I
stop doing them. I don’t want to have stupid habits.”
Kozlov laces his right skate first before each practice.
Before a game, he laces his left skate first.
Quote: “Sometimes I don’t even pay attention, and that’s how I
do it. It comes from the memory.”
He has some others, from Chris Thorburn, Maxim Afinogenov and John
Anderson. They’re all pretty vanilla “this is how I warm up each night”
type stuff. It’s always interesting to read about the players’ routines,
but I’d like to hear about some of the more…juicy stuff.
Actually, after I think about it I’d rather not hear about anyone’s
tradition when it comes to their jock strap or their skate lining.
Montreal added some forward depth on Tuesday, acquiring diminutive forward Paul Byron off waivers from Calgary.
Byron, 26, is a veteran of nearly 150 career NHL games, most coming with the Flames. Despite fairly solid production over the last two years — 40 points in 104 games — he was exposed to waivers on Monday, along with fellow forward Mason Raymond.
(Calgary does have a logjam of players at forward, hence parting ways with Byron and Raymond.)
Byron can play both wing and center but, at 5-foot-7, 153 pounds, is one of the most undersized skaters in the league. Thankfully for him, Montreal has an affinity for undersized forwards, with the likes of Brendan Gallagher (5-foot-9, 184 pounds) and David Desharnais (5-foot-7, 174 pounds) already on the active roster.
Byron could also fill Zack Kassian‘s roster spot. Kassian is currently suspended without pay while undergoing Stage 2 of the NHL’s Substance Abuse program.
The New York Islanders have claimed goalie Jean-Francois Berube off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings, the club announced today.
Berube won the Calder Cup last season with AHL Manchester, but the 24-year-old has yet to appear in an NHL game.
That the Isles claimed Berube could be evidence that Jaroslav Halak will not be ready to start the season after all.
If that’s the case, Berube would back up Thomas Greiss, with Stephon Williams expected to go to the AHL.
The Isles open their regular season Friday at home versus the Blackhawks, then play the next day in Chicago.