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Good news (sort of): NHL only cancels games to Nov. 1


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.

But apparently we’re not there yet.

Take it away, Lloyd Christmas…

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.