Jaroslav Spacek announces retirement


It might be appropriate to add Jaroslav Spacek’s final season to the list of lockout casualties.

The 13-year NHL veteran announced his decision to retire on Monday, according to iSport.cz via TSN’s Amanda Stein.

Spacek spent his solid career bouncing around the NHL, spending time with the Florida Panthers, Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Edmonton Oilers, Buffalo Sabres, Montreal Canadiens and then part of 2011-12 with the Carolina Hurricanes.

In total, Spacek scored 82 goals and 355 points in 880 regular season games.

He fought some injuries recently, but he seemed pleased to get out of what he called the “circus” atmosphere in Montreal during his brief run in Carolina.

Perhaps the roller coaster ride of the lockout sapped his will to play just a little bit longer.

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.