As they are wont to do, the New York Islanders have claimed a player off waivers.
This time it’s defenseman Brian Strait, formerly of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Strait has just 12 games of NHL experience, having spent most of his pro career in the AHL. The 24-year-old had no points in 26 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season. (More of a defensive defenseman, we presume.)
The Islanders have also officially suspended defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky for failing to report. The 36-year-old has said he’ll join the team in a couple of weeks once his son’s health issues are resolved.
Visnovsky was hoping to play the entire season in his native Slovakia with his hometown team Bratislava; however, his request was rejected due to an agreement between the KHL and NHL that says each league must honor the other’s contracts.
Isles claim Keith Aucoin off waivers
Isles claim former Kings first-rounder Hickey off waivers
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.