Tom Gaglardi

Stars owner says they’ll be in on any free agents


New Dallas Stars owner Tom Gaglardi is heading into his first summer of free agency. While the team is in a bit of transition, especially after dealing Mike Ribeiro to Washington, he tells Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News they’ll be in on plenty of free agents starting July 1.

“We’re definitely adjusting, so we don’t have a budget yet, but we’re prepared to be in there on any player,” Gaglardi said. “We want to be smart, and we want to build the team for the long-term, to be a long-term winner, but we also know that we have free agency and we have trades, and we have to be prepared to use both of them to get better. There’s a reason for free agency, and it can help you get better without giving up assets.”

The Stars have had to be quiet the last few summers thanks to their ownership situation being up in the air. Now with Gaglardi in place, normalcy can come back to Dallas.

Don’t expect rampant free-wheeling, however, as Gaglardi isn’t expected to be at all like former owner Tom Hicks. Dallas would ideally like to get in on the hunt for Ryan Suter, but going up against the likes of Detroit, Pittsburgh, and others they’ll have stiff competition.

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.