Oilers Ales Hemsky and Jordan Eberle will miss 2011 NHL All-Star Game with injuries

Sidney Crosby isn’t the only person who won’t be around for next weekend’s All-Star Game in Raleigh, North Carolina. Injuries will also keep two Edmonton Oilers from the festivities, according to NHL.com. Concussion issues will force out Ales Hemsky from the standard game while Jordan Eberle won’t be able to take part in the SuperSkills Competition because of an ankle injury. (Eberle wasn’t voted to the actual All-Star Game, but would have been among the rookies playing in the skills competition.)

This will leave Taylor Hall as the team’s only representative during the weekend, as the rookie will take part in the skills competition.

Hemsky scored 29 points in an injury-riddled 32 games so far this season while Eberle has missed 10 games and counting with the ankle problems. Eberle has 23 points in 37 games.

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.