Bettman and the media go toe to toe

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Last night we shared some thoughts from Gary Bettman as quoted by
Dave Lozo of, that came from a press conference held before last
night’s Kings and Canucks game. It turns out, as expected, we didn’t
exactly get the full story of what went down.

Turns out there was
some back and forth between Bettman and the Vancouver media, who seem to
be perpetuating this ‘conspiracy’ talk and are determined to uncover
the truth behind the mysterious decision that waived off a goal by
Daniel Sedin. ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun shares the back and forth; here’s a snippet:

Q: Has the so-called DVD that was sent to teams, has that
actually changed the rules? Because in the rules, it says there has to
be a distinct kicking motion. Now, apparently, there does not have to

Bettman: Well, I’m going to take issue with your
characterization of a “so-called DVD.” The DVD exists. Whether or not
you’ve seen it or are aware of it doesn’t make it “so-called.” Secondly,
all the rules, obviously, have to be interpreted, standards have to be
applied. And this is something that was reviewed with the general

I can’t believe that I’m siding with the
NHL and Gary Bettman on this one, but as I’ve covered numerous times the
past few days, the league has already established precedent that there
doesn’t not have to be a ‘distinct kicking motion’ for a goal to be
disallowed. This has happened multiple times in the past few years and
each time the NHL has explained that intentional or not, ‘distinct
kicking motion’ or not, if a puck is propelled into the net by a skate
by anything other than a deflection they’ll call off the goal.

should the NHL clarify the rule book so that the rest of us aren’t as
confused? Absolutely, and the NHL should also make public the DVD that
was sent to teams. The media and the fans are calling conspiracy, while
we’ve yet to hear any of the players or the Canucks officials cry bloody
murder (although Alain Vigneault wasn’t happy with the call after the
game). Perhaps this is because they’ve remembered this DVD that
clarified this rule, along with others.

Habs claim Byron off waivers from Flames

Paul Byron
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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.

Isles claim goalie Berube off waivers

Evgeny Kuznetsov, Jaroslav Halak
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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.