Ryan Russell

Ryan Russell signs with Swedish team

Leksands IF of the Swedish Hockey League is reporting that they have signed forward Ryan Russell.

Russell was drafted with the 211th pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, but he managed to fight his way to the NHL in 2011-12.

He scored two goals in 41 contests with the Columbus Blue Jackets. However, the 26-year-old ended up back in the AHL last season, recording six goals and 10 assists in 62 contests with Springfield.

His twin brother, defenseman Kris Russell, has 95 points and 145 penalty minutes in 364 career NHL games. The blueliner will play for the Calgary Flames in 2013-14 on a one-year contract worth $1.5 million.

The twins briefly played within the same organization when the Blue Jackets acquired Ryan in the summer of 2011. However, Ryan wouldn’t make his NHL debut until Jan. 7, 2012 and by then Kris had been traded to the St. Louis Blues.

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.