Gary Bettman, Donald Fehr

Oct. 25 deadline arrives and…nothing


Don’t expect any major announcements today, deputy commissioner Bill Daly told’s Tim Panaccio.

On the date (Oct. 25) the NHL said a new CBA must be reached in order for a full season to be played, possible announcements might have included:

—- “We have a deal! The two sides worked on it all night and an 82-game season will begin Nov. 2. Training camp starts tomorrow.”

—- “We weren’t kidding about the Oct. 25 deadline. Games have been canceled up to (fill in the blank.)”

—- “Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.”

According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, the second option could occur Friday. Which begs the question: How many games will be canceled?

It’s possible it could be a big chunk of the schedule so that NHL owners who also own or control their arenas can book events to fill the dates that were previously reserved for hockey.

Or, perhaps the NHL will give fans some semblance of hope for a resolution and only kick the can down the road a short distance. Say, up to the Thanksgiving Showdown (Nov. 23).

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.