Paul Bissonnette, Krys Barch

Dallas trades noted pugilist Barch to Florida


The Dallas Stars have traded enforcer Krys Barch and a sixth-round pick to Florida in exchange for minor-leaguer Jake Hauswirth and a fifth-rounder.

The most notable asset of the lot is the 31-year-old Barch, who had been with the Stars organization since the lockout. His best year in Dallas came in 2008-09, when he played in a career-high 72 games, posting 4G-5A-9PTS.

But hey, let’s get real here — Barch is best known for his fighting prowess and willingness to chuck knuckles with pretty much anybody.

Barch’s most active season was in 2009-10, when he finished with 20 fights — eighth-most in the NHL — and he’s averaged 17 fights per season over the last for years. Many of those fights have become the stuff of YouTube lore, like this one against Dan Carcillo:

Granted, that didn’t end so well for Barch. Here’s a better effort from one of his many bouts with Brad May:

It sounds as though the Panthers have been lacking in the toughness department recently, according to Harvey Fialkov of the Sun-Sentinel.

“If the Panthers have shown one weakness this season it’s a lack of physical strength especially after Matt Bradley and Scottie Upshall went down,”  he writes. “Opposing teams have been trying to neutralize the Panthers speed and skill by pounding them.”

So yeah, pretty clear what Barch is headed to Florida for.

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.