Rick Rypien

Poll results: You think Rick Rypien is going away for long time

With Canucks forward Rick Rypien’s hearing in New York City with the NHL front office underway today to decide what his punishment for grabbing a fan during a game will be, it’s about time we caught up with what you think his punishment should be.

We polled you guys recently to find out what you think and while the opinions vary as to how many games the experts think he’ll get and people generally feel that he’ll end up getting anywhere from 6-10 games, you were pretty clear on your thoughts. We ventured a guess in the heat of the moment thinking that he’s got something in the double-digits coming to him, and perhaps as much as 15 games.

As it turns out, you fans think he’s going to end up going away for a long time as well.

Seeing 54% of you side with going for 10+ games makes for a pretty emphatic statement on matters. With the next highest choice being for 8-10 games, it’s clear you’re all in support of having a message sent here in some fashion. We should know by this afternoon what the NHL thinks Rypien will get, we can only hope that they have a game show set up with the Wheel Of Justice to help determine things. You know, just embrace the hell out of what they’re made fun of about.

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.