Henrik Tallinder, Justin Williams

Tallinder looks forward to helping desperate Devils

After a long and grueling run, the New Jersey Devils season will end on a sour note if they lose just one more game. Desperate, Devils coach Pete DeBoer has decided to make a couple of noteworthy roster changes. One was to insert Henrik Tallinder into the lineup for the first time since Jan. 17.

“I haven’t been playing for a while so I’m pretty excited to come back and just to be able to play again,” Tallinder said.

The Devils might be facing nearly insurmountable odds, but Tallinder has some first-hand experience with coming back from the brink.

When he was diagnosed with a blood clot in his left leg, he wasn’t sure if he’d play again this season and he very nearly didn’t.

“It’s really tough,” he said. “You are going through the emotions. It was not one doctor. It was a couple doctors. I don’t know, it was probably more than a couple doctors. You go through the emotions. One guy says one thing and then you go to the next one, he says another thing. You are trying to take a path where I’m going and it’s not easy because some say, ‘Yeah, you’re going to be back in two months’ and one says, ‘Yeah, it’s going to take six months.’ So how do you deal with that?”

He found a way to and now he’s playing in the Stanley Cup finals. It might not be under the best of circumstances, but at least now he’ll have a hand in shaping the Devils’ destiny.

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.