Randy Carlyle Carter Ashton

Underneath Randy Carlyle’s gruff exterior lies a heart of gold

You can accuse Randy Carlyle of being grumpy, crotchety, irritable or even surly — just don’t call him miserly.

The Toronto Maple Leafs head coach is almost generous to a fault.

For further evidence to this claim, check out Terry Koshan’s piece in the Toronto Sun about the Leafs finding a backup for Jonas Gustavsson after James Reimer was lost to an upper-body injury:

Jussi Rynnas was to back-up Gustavsson Thursday. Rynnas had been sent down to the Marlies on Wednesday, with Ben Scrivens recalled. But Scrivens was sent back to the Marlies after practising on Wednesday with the Leafs.

“(Scrivens) is clearly the No. 1 guy down there and the player deserved an opportunity to earn NHL dollars for a day (approximately $2,800 US) as a reward,” Carlyle said. “For his development and the long-term status of the organization, we feel it is important for the Marlies to have as much a chance for success and that is why he came up yesterday and practised with us, got paid NHL dollars and is now back with the Marlies for their weekend.”

To be fair, this might not all be Carlyle’s idea. Ever since Brian Burke extended Ron Wilson’s contract, Toronto’s really been pushing the “reward employees regardless of what they do at the NHL level” program.

Habs claim Byron off waivers from Flames

Paul Byron
Leave a comment

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
Leave a comment

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.