The Flyers’ hunt for a goalie to replace Ilya Bryzgalov is about to heat up.
Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly.com reports the team is interested in St. Louis Blues netminder Jaroslav Halak. According to his source, the price to get him won’t be a killer.
“The Flyers have been told it’s going to take a very good player, but it won’t take one of their top guys, which Philadelphia was worried about,” the source said. “He could be their No. 1.”
Halak’s season in St. Louis ended quietly as Brian Elliott took over for them in the postseason. There was a report about a confrontation between Halak and coach Ken Hitchcock towards the end of the season, but inside sources have told PHT no such thing occurred.
Nonetheless, Blues GM Doug Armstrong has called the Blues situation in goal “cloudy” as Halak would be in competition with Elliott and youngster Jake Allen.
Panaccio says the Flyers are looking at a lot of goalies to fill their needs this summer. Among them: Tim Thomas, Roberto Luongo, Jose Theodore, and Ray Emery.
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.