Adam Henrique

Henrique aiming for early February return


Good thing Ilya Kovalchuk is coming back or the Devils might have been seriously shorthanded to start the season.

Instead, they’ll just be semi-seriously shorthanded.

Having already lost Zach Parise to free agency over the summer, New Jersey will also be without 22-year-old center Adam Henrique (thumb) until at least early February.

“It’s coming along. I haven’t started skating yet,” Henrique said, per The Star-Ledger. “Right now I’m just working out and going to therapy every day to just get the motion back and to get the strength back. We need to make sure we take the time to get it where it needs to be so I can play the same way I played before.”

Henrique’s 51 points put him fourth in team scoring in 2011-12, his first season in the NHL.

On the bright side, the Devils will have a “100 percent” healthy Travis Zajac after going without the 27-year-old center (torn left Achilles tendon) for all but 15 games of the 2011-12 regular season.

Related: Henrique gets his cast off

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-opener 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.

Leafs claim Corrado from Canucks, waive Panik

Frank Corrado
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The Toronto Maple Leafs have claimed one of the more intriguing players placed on waivers — former Vancouver defenseman Frank Corrado.

Corrado, 22, was waived by the Canucks on Monday. The former OHL standout had appeared in 28 career games for Vancouver — including 10 last year — but was squeezed out of an NHL spot following the emergence of Ben Hutton, who surprised many onlookers by making the 23-man roster.

Canucks GM Jim Benning will receive criticism for losing an asset like Corrado for nothing. Several Vancouver pundits warned of exposing a young, promising d-man to waivers and those warnings ultimately proved accurate.

With Toronto, Corrado could push for playing time as the club indicated on Monday veteran d-man Sephane Robidas wouldn’t be with the team to start the year. That would leave the the Leafs with seven healthy blueliners: Dion Phaneuf, Jake Gardiner, Roman Polak, Morgan Rielly, Matt Hunwick, Martin Marincin and Scott Harrington, who can go to the minors without having to clear waivers.

Petter Granberg, another defenseman, is currently on IR.

In a corresponding move to the Corrado claim, the Leafs put forward Richard Panik on waivers. Panik, who Toronto plucked off waivers from Tampa Bay last year, appeared in 76 games for the Leafs, scoring 11 goals and 17 points.