2010 NHL free agency: Stars re-sign Fabian Brunnstrom, avoid arbitration

fabianbrunnstrom2.jpgFabian Brunnstrom has, perhaps, come to his senses a bit. The Stars and Brunnstrom avoided going to arbitration today and came to an agreement on a one-year, one-way deal according to the Dallas Stars official Twitter feed.

Stars and Fabian Brunnstrom agree to terms prior to arbitration hearing this morning: $675,000 one-way contract. One-year deal.

The numbers of this deal are a bit surprising. Yesterday we examined Brunnstrom’s case and it appeared that the Stars could’ve been in a bit of trouble considering how much Brunnstrom made last year with his bonuses included (he made over $2 million despite having a base salary of $875,000). Brunnstrom taking $200,000 less than he made last year seems to speak more to him wanting to keep an NHL job rather than go through a potentially embarassing hearing. The guys at Defending Big D took a bit more joy in Brunnstrom’s new deal.

Yeah, I’m just going to go ahead and say that either Bunny or his agent came to their senses and didn’t want to risk uncontrolled laughter from the arbiter when they were going to make the case that Brunnstrom deserved a raise.

Anyway, it’s nice to know that Joe Nieuwendyk has an additional $200,000 in budget space to work with.

Dallas wasn’t exactly hurting for cap space as it was, but yes, any spare funds are a good thing. Next up for the Stars, getting Niklas Grossman and James Neal squared away with contracts.

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.