Jason Spezza

Spezza says he’s ready to play Game 3 (Update: He will)


Ottawa center Jason Spezza again skated with the team today but this time he wasn’t sporting a “Black Aces” jersey. Instead he was sporting a white first-line jersey at the team’s optional skate and sounded like a guy who wants in for Game 3.

The Sens top center told reporters he’s ready to play in Game 3 for Ottawa and that doctors say everything is fine and he’s good to go if need be. Spezza says the decision on whether or not to play is up to him, so it seems like we can pencil him into the Senators lineup.

The last time we saw Spezza in action this year was against Pittsburgh on January 27. Since then, he’s had surgery on his back which kept him out for the rest of the regular season. Now that the team is down 2-0 to the Pens, there’s no time like the present for him to try and be a factor in turning things around.

Update: Coach Paul MacLean says Spezza will play in Game 3.

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.