Doan, Tippett discuss questionable hit


Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan wasn’t exactly verbose when answering questions about his controversial boarding hit on Los Angeles Kings forward Trevor Lewis, but here’s his explanation via Sarah McLellan.

“He turns; he looks right at me,” Doan said. “I didn’t even look at him again. I was looking at the puck because I was trying to poke the puck free. He turns away as I’m coming in.”

Head coach Dave Tippett insisted that he’s not going to worry about discipline – for Doan, Martin Hanzal or anyone else – but instead the 2-0 deficit his team finds itself in. Still, he did have a take on the Doan hit.

“[It happened in] a dangerous place but a player can’t put himself in that position either,” Tippett said. “I’m not saying it was a good hit or a bad hit, but anybody who’s played the game when you’re in that position and a guy is beside you then he turns his back to you, you can’t stop. You can’t stop, and that’s what I saw with that hit.”

Ultimately, it all comes down to what Brendan Shanahan & Co. “saw” regarding that hit, though.

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.