Calgary Flames v Anaheim Ducks

Jokinen’s big night helps Kiprusoff claim 300th win

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Miikka Kiprusoff became the first Finnish netminder to collect 300 NHL wins, so it makes plenty of thematic sense that fellow Finn Olli Jokinen played a big role in that victory.

Jokinen scored a hat trick and added an assist while Kipper made 34 saves to beat the San Jose Sharks 4-3.

The victory wasn’t just fitting for the Finnish connection alone, as tonight ranks as a genuine full-circle moment for Kiprusoff. The Sharks drafted him in the fifth round in 1995, so it had to feel extra special to accomplish the task against the only other NHL team he’s ever played for.*

Putting it in historical perspective

Kipper is the 27th goalie to earn at least 300 career wins, but if you ask me, the most interesting peer is Evgeni Nabokov. The Sharks decided to go with the Russian instead of him years ago, as they opted to trade Kiprusoff to the Flames on Nov. 16, 2003. Check out how close those two are right now in career wins:

22nd all time: Billy Smith and Nabokov tied at 305 wins
24th: Olaf Kolzig – 303 wins
25th: Turk Broda – 302 wins
26th: Mike Richter – 301 wins
27th: Kiprusoff – 300 wins

Kiprusoff’s career record now stands at 299-194-7-60 thanks to the funky extra column for trades. (Hockey records used to be the worst, right?)

Flames franchise record breakers

As Mike Halford points out, this has been a milestone-happy run for Kipper, who recently became the Flames’ franchise leader in games played for a goalie. Considering the fact that Jarome Iginla recently took some all-time marks of his own, the duo of stars have made a big impact on the history of the Calgary Flames – even if they fell just short of a Stanley Cup.

It’s anyone’s guess how much longer Iginla and Kiprusoff will remain with the team, but they’ve left an indelible mark on the franchise. (Jokinen might have bought himself another year with his recent play, too, by the way.)

* – Interestingly enough, Kipper earned 14 wins with the Sharks franchise and 14 more against San Jose.

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.