The Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers have placed Scott Gomez and Wade Redden on waivers, according to multiple reports.
The moves are precursors to the accelerated cap buyouts the NHL and NHLPA agreed to on Tuesday. The new agreement allows teams to use one compliance buyouts — teams were granted two under the new CBA — prior to the start of this season.
However, the player’s full salary for the 2012-13 season still would count against the team’s cap — in the case of Redden and the Rangers, that figure is $6.5 million.
For Gomez and the Canadiens, it’s $7.36 million.
The new ruling will allow for both players to seek employment for this season.
Habs GM Marc Bergevin told Gomez earlier this week he’d be sent home for the year, rather than sent down to Montreal’s AHL affiliate in Hamilton. Reason being was if Gomez sustained an injury while playing, Montreal would not be able to buy him out next summer (injured players are not buyout eligible.)
The Rangers were primed to do the same with Redden.
As for what the future holds — should Gomez and Redden clear waivers and the buyouts become finalized, both players will become available to sign with any club as early as Thursday at noon.
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.
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.