The AHL’s reigning MVP and rookie of the year is about to get his shot in the NHL.
Per the Tampa Tribune, Cory Conacher has snagged one of the final spots on the Lightning’s roster.
Conacher, 23, is an undersized, undrafted forward that piled up 80 points in 75 games last season with the Norfolk Admirals.
He started the 2012-13 season where he left off, with 28 points in 36 games for the Lightning’s new AHL affiliate in Syracuse.
“We feel he has done a lot in the American League already …and if you look at his year and half, he has continued to improve,” Lightning coach Guy Boucher said. “I like his grit, I like his relentlessness and I always have, so he deserves it.”
Related: Conacher looks to Martin St. Louis for inspiration
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.