Sean Avery

Avery won’t play Thursday at MSG

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The heroic return of Sean Avery to the Rangers’ line-up will have to wait. The recently-recalled forward won’t play tomorrow versus the Ducks at Madison Square Garden.

With the Rangers coming off Monday’s 5-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks, Avery himself concedes there’s no need to shake things up. That being said, he can’t wait for his debut.

“I love every game I’ve ever played for this team,” Avery said, as reported by “I love walking into the building. I’m definitely excited about playing in the new building. I just want to help these guys win. I just want to play my game and play as hard as I can and help them win. I talked to the coaches, I didn’t skate because of re-entry waivers for a couple of days and, you know, really the guys played pretty last game and had a big win so I wouldn’t change the line-up.”

Avery’s next chance to draw into the line-up will come Saturday when the Rangers host the Canadiens. And really, a Saturday night at MSG against an Original Six team is a far better time for Avery to be reunited with his fans than a boring weeknight affair with the Ducks. Everyone will be much, much drunker.

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.