Alexander Steen

Steen, Crosby, and Niemi are NHL’s three stars for October


Blues winger Alexander Steen, Penguins center Sidney Crosby and Sharks goalie Antti Niemi are the NHL’s three stars for the month of October.

The league announced the winners today.

Steen led all players with 11 goals, scoring in nine of 10 games and on 35.5% of his shots on goal, to help the Blues pick up 16 out of a possible 20 points (7-1-2).

Crosby paced the NHL with 21 points (8-13—21) in 13 games to lead the Penguins to first place in the Metropolitan Division (9-4-0, 18 points).

Niemi posted a 9-1-2 record with a 1.72 goals-against average, .924 save percentage and two shutouts in helping the Sharks earn a League-best 22 points (10-1-2).

Steen’s performance in October is especially notable given the 29-year-old is a pending unrestricted free agent. Certainly nobody can expect him to keep scoring on a third of his shots, but it’s a safe bet his cap hit will be going up from its current $3.4 million.

From the CBC’s Elliotte Friedman:

The Blues did talk to [Steen about a contract] last summer, but he chose to wait and concentrate on the season.

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.

Leafs claim Corrado from Canucks, waive Panik

Frank Corrado
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The Toronto Maple Leafs have claimed one of the more intriguing players placed on waivers — former Vancouver defenseman Frank Corrado.

Corrado, 22, was waived by the Canucks on Monday. The former OHL standout had appeared in 28 career games for Vancouver — including 10 last year — but was squeezed out of an NHL spot following the emergence of Ben Hutton, who surprised many onlookers by making the 23-man roster.

Canucks GM Jim Benning will receive criticism for losing an asset like Corrado for nothing. Several Vancouver pundits warned of exposing a young, promising d-man to waivers and those warnings ultimately proved accurate.

With Toronto, Corrado could push for playing time as the club indicated on Monday veteran d-man Sephane Robidas wouldn’t be with the team to start the year. That would leave the the Leafs with seven healthy blueliners: Dion Phaneuf, Jake Gardiner, Roman Polak, Morgan Rielly, Matt Hunwick, Martin Marincin and Scott Harrington, who can go to the minors without having to clear waivers.

Petter Granberg, another defenseman, is currently on IR.

In a corresponding move to the Corrado claim, the Leafs put forward Richard Panik on waivers. Panik, who Toronto plucked off waivers from Tampa Bay last year, appeared in 76 games for the Leafs, scoring 11 goals and 17 points.