The NHL isn’t ready to give up on the possibility of playing a full 82-game season.
Not publicly at least.
According to TSN, the league is expected today to cancel games up to Nov. 1 – which may sound like bad news (and it’s not awesome news), but it also leaves open the potential for a full season to start on Nov. 2.
[Update: It’s official — 135 regular-season games canceled, from Oct. 11 through Nov. 1.]
There’s been speculation that a large chunk of games could be canceled as the NHL and NHLPA continue to argue over terms of a new CBA.
Such a drastic move, in addition to sending a message to the players, would allow those owners who also own or control their arenas to book alternative events (concerts, etc.) to ease the loss of hockey-related revenue.
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.