2010 NHL Free Agency: Sharks sign Devin Setoguchi to one-year deal

setoguchiintheair.jpgUpdate: Nick Kypreos reports that Setoguchi’s deal is worth $1.8M. That means the Sharks will pay him $400K less than Boston will give Blake Wheeler. Very, very nice signing by GM Doug WIlson …

As was discussed yesterday, the San Jose Sharks signed forward Devin Setoguchi to a one-year contract. The team did not share financial details on the deal.

Here’s a little more from the Sharks’ press release.

The 23-year-old Setoguchi finished the 2009-10 campaign tied for fourth on the team in goals (20). He set a career-high with four game-winning goals and recorded 36 points in 70 games.

During the postseason, he finished third on the team in goals (5), including the overtime game-winner in Game 2 of the Western Conference Quarter Finals vs. Colorado. He also chipped in with four assists and was a +3 in 15 games.

“We’re happy to have Devin under contract for next season,” said [GM Doug] Wilson. “He is an important part of our team and we are looking forward to his on-going growth as a player. We have very high expectations for him.”

The Sharks now have their top-six forwards wrapped up, with Setoguchi, Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Dany Heatley, Joe Pavelski and Ryan Clowe under contract. Overall, the team has 11 forwards, seven defensemen and two goalies under contract, according to CapGeek.com.

That covers the teams’ major free agents for this summer. Without knowing Setoguchi’s salary cap hit, the team has a little more than $5.5 million in cap space accounting for 19 players. Depending on his salary, they’ll either have enough room to add another small piece or will only be able to add minimum wage players.

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.