Jordan Staal

Jordan Staal rejects Penguins’ 10-year extension offer


According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, Jordan Staal has rejected a 10-year contract extension offered by the Pittsburgh Penguins. On top of that, Staal isn’t interested in signing a new contract at this time.

If true, this is very troubling news for the Penguins as Staal is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2013.

We’ve been hearing trade rumors involving Staal for a while now, but this report will pour gasoline onto that fire. The Penguins will not want to risk losing Staal for nothing and, as a team that hopes to compete in 2012-13, dealing him over the summer might be preferable to looking into their options at the trade deadline.

Of course, there’s any number of potential suitors for Staal if he is traded, but most of them will be hesitant to break the bank for a guy that might turn into a one-year rental. An exception to that rule might be the Carolina Hurricanes, which already employs his older brother, Eric Staal. His younger brother, Jared, is also in the organization, but hasn’t made his NHL debut.

The other member of the Staal brothers, Marc, is of course playing for the New York Rangers, but Pittsburgh would probably balk at the prospect of trading Jordan to a division rival.

Of course, all this trade talk is just speculation, but you can expect to see a whole lot more of it in the near future if McKenzie’s report isn’t countered.

Update: Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has confirmed that Staal rejected a 10-year deal from the Penguins.

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.