Governors, Congressmen put friendly wagers on ‘Hawks-Bruins


Game 1 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final will be underway soon (8:00 p.m. ET, NBC), but before the puck dropped, several politicians placed wagers on the outcome of this series.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick have agreed that the governor representing the losing team will help out at a food bank of the other governor’s choosing, according to CSN New England.

In other words, should the Blackhawks win, Patrick will spend some time at the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Quinn will volunteer at the Greater Boston Food Bank if the Bruins lift the Stanley Cup.

Rep. Mike Quigley of Illnois’ 5th District also has a wager going with Rep. Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts’ 8th district. In that one, it’s local goods that are at stake.

Quigley is promising Lynch Eli’s Cheesecake and Nuts on Clark should Boston win while Lynch is risking a case of Harpoon beer and Legal Sea Foods’ clam chowder. They’re both members of the bipartisan Congressional Hockey Caucus, which aims to expand hockey programs in the United States.

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.