Jeff Skinner

An odd one: Jeff Skinner suspended two games for … kicking?


In many cases, NHL suspension videos lean toward rule 48 regarding head shots. You don’t see rule 49 come out of the woodwork very often – in fact, I can’t recall it off the top of my head, unless Chris Pronger’s infamous “stomp” falls under that category – but we got an example tonight. The league handed Jeff Skinner a two-game suspension for “kicking” St. Louis Blues forward Scott Nichol.

Here’s the video:

Skinner will be $9,729.72 poorer because of the game checks he’s losing, although the damage would have been greater if he had a prior history. It’s been an odd season for the reigning Calder Trophy winner, as he’s shown the skill to prove that wasn’t a fluke yet he’s dealt with concussion issues that marred a chunk of his sophomore year.

Obviously this is is an unusual situation, so PHT is intrigued to get your take. Should he have gotten more games, no punishment at all or was it just right? Do tell.

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.