Maclean’s magazine names Sidney Crosby ‘Newsmaker of the Year’

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(My old journalism professors who always cringed or griped when sports made it on the front page probably should look away from this story. Then again, I’m not sure why they would be reading a hockey Web site this late anyway, so let’s just move on.)

Judging from this video and common sense about the passion for pucks above the border, it was obvious that Sidney Crosby’s Olympic gold medal winning goal was a big deal in Vancouver and Canada overall. Canadian magazine MacLean’s thinks that moment was big enough to name Crosby its “newsmaker of the year.”

We’re not talking about sportsman of the year (like Sports Illustrated and other publications name every 12 months), but rather all news categories. The power of Crosby’s goal apparently towers over stories about war, politics, science and everything else. has the story.

Maclean’s says the 23-year-old native of Cole Harbour, N.S., native was chosen for his gold medal-winning goal against the United States at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. The Canadian magazine said Crosby’s overtime goal was on a “higher plane” than the wars, natural disasters and political upheavals of 2010.

Maclean’s says the goal united Canadians and dwarfed Crosby’s other achievements, which include a Stanley Cup and a host of personal awards.

Does this mean Canadians love hockey more than Americans love football? Perhaps.

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.