The dissection of the Pittsburgh Penguins continues, as that team cleaned out its lockers Sunday, after getting swept in the Eastern Conference final by the Boston Bruins.
The Penguins entered the series against the Bruins as the top-seeded team in the Eastern Conference, but were outscored 12-2 and quickly bowed out of the race for the Stanley Cup in the third round.
“I think we have the right pieces (and) anytime you don’t win it’s disappointing. Our goal is to win a Cup (and) we came up short,” said Penguins forward James Neal, as per the team’s Twitter account.
The Penguins went out before the trade deadline and made a number of high profile deals, including the acquisitions of Brenden Morrow, Douglas Murray and Jarome Iginla.
But the team’s failure in the conference final has led to many questions about the future of certain individuals on the team, starting with head coach Dan Bylsma.
A report out of the New York Post says owner Mario Lemieux may want Bylsma out.
And then, of course, goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who once again melted down in the playoffs.
“Fleury is our No. 1 goalie and will be moving forward,” Bylsma told reporters. “He is a guy who will come back to this team.”
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.