Boston Bruins v Phoenix Coyotes

Glendale Mayor: Don’t blame us, blame the NHL


Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs is sick and tired of being blamed for the Coyotes’ sluggish sale process. And that, for the record, is the exact same lead sentence we used in early December, which should tell you how the sale process has gone since then.

The NHL owns the Phoenix franchise and so far has been unable to find an owner to keep the team in Glendale, where the team plays in the city-owned Arena.

Scruggs reiterated her “it’s not up to us, it’s up to the league” stance today in The Arizona Republic, telling the newspaper, “We are not in control and quite honestly, I’m kind of tired of everybody pointing to us and making comments that the city of Glendale can’t get the job done. We have no control over it and I think probably the NHL is very happy that writers and reporters continue to point to the city of Glendale for not getting the job done because it takes the attention directly off them.”

City council will meet behind closed doors today for an update, though there might not be much of one.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman commented on the Coyotes situation last week.

“Nothing imminent,” Bettman said. “But it’s still being worked on. It’s still a work in progress and there’s no significant development that I’m in position to report.”

Meanwhile, the hockey team sits 12th in the Western Conference, four points back of eighth-place Colorado.

The last regular-season game at Arena is Apr. 3 versus Columbus.

Just to throw it out there.

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.