Brian Gionta

Habs captain Gionta (torn biceps) done for year


More bad news for the Canadiens.

After Tuesday night’s crushing 3-2 OT defeat to Ottawa, the club learned on Wednesday that captain Brian Gionta will miss the remainder of the season to undergo surgery on a torn left bicep.

Gionta, 34, appeared in all 48 games during the regular season — finishing second on the team in goals, with 14 — but has missed two of four postseason games with what was originally labeled an upper-body injury.

This injury marks the second time in as many years that Gionta has been lost for the year due to a torn bicep.

In 2012, he tore his right biceps and underwent surgery in January, limiting his season to just 31 games.

The loss is a big one for Montreal, already without the services of forward Lars Eller (injured in Game 1), defenseman Alexei Emelin and winger Ryan White.

There are also question marks surrounding goalie Carey Price (listed as day-to-day) and forward Brandon Prust, both of whom were injured during Game 4.

Update: To give you an idea of how hard Gionta took the news…

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.