jonathan toews getty

Toews to miss ninth straight game, calls car accident “embarrassing”

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Friday was a good news, bad news kind of day for the Chicago Blackhawks.

The bad news was that captain Jonathan Toews is set to miss his ninth consecutive contest with a concussion, and head coach Joel Quenneville said there’s no timetable for return.

The good news? Toews again skated without suffering any setbacks, and there are no ill-effects from his car wreck two weeks ago.

Well, one ill-effect: Embarrassment.

“A lot of people want to tie that in there with this injury,” Toews said of his single-vehicle accident on Feb. 23. “But when it rains it pours. I had a rough week and throw that in there with it.

“It’s one of those embarrassing things I didn’t want to get out of my car for a long time.”

Toews re-iterated the crash didn’t impact his concussion — he’s actually having a hard time pinpointing how he got concussed in the first place. He played 21:34 in his last game (a 3-1 win over St. Louis on Feb. 19) and said while he felt “off” during that contest and a few before, his discomfort level was minimal.

“It was one of those things that was so minor at first that it took some time to realize it was something more serious,” he said. “When it comes down to that, you hate to admit it to yourself. You see so many guys around the league dealing with it and you don’t want to be one of those guys. I had to rest and get better.”

Much like the Sidney Crosby watch, it’ll be interesting to see when Toews returns to action. Chicago kicks off a mini three-game homestand tonight against the Rangers, followed by contests against the Kings and Blues. After that, there are just 11 games left in Chicago’s regular-season schedule, including two key dates against Central Division rival Nashville and a season-ending tilt in Detroit.

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.