Kevin Shattenkirk

Blues’ Shattenkirk ‘on cloud nine’ after signing new deal

It’s been a good couple days for Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. He signed a new deal with the team for four years worth $17 million and he couldn’t be happier about that.

“Obviously I’m on cloud nine right now. This is a great opportunity for me,” Shattenkirk said on a team conference call today. “To have the type of commitment that the Blues made and the faith that they have in me to perform and showing it in this way is pretty special.

“We both wanted to get something done and I think there was a deal to be had the whole way through…it’s nice to have this weight off my back and focus on things going forward for the rest of the summer.”

By that he means picking out a sweet place on the beach to relax until training camp starts in September. Well, that’s what I’d do at least.

Next up for Blues GM Doug Armstrong: Getting Shattenkirk’s restricted free agent pal on the blue line, Alex Pietrangelo, locked up to a long-term deal.

After being a Norris Trophy finalist last season and having another strong campaign this season, you can figure he’ll have a lofty deal headed his way. For what it’s worth, Armstrong said they’ll match any offers on their restricted free agents.

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.