New York Islanders defenseman Andrew MacDonald is one of the team’s quietest top players. He’s also a guy who will need a new contract once this season is through and considering his current deal is worth $550,000 against the salary cap, he’s due for a big raise.
According to Arthur Staple of New York Newsday, however, MacDonald and the Isles haven’t started talking about a new contract yet. This season, he’s been a workhorse for the Isles with a goal and five assists as well as the highest average time on ice per game on the team (26:46). He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent over the summer.
Getting an extension worked out shouldn’t be too tricky. The Isles have a lot of salary cap space already, and with the cap set to rise next year and beyond, they’ll have even more room to work with. MacDonald is going to get a significant raise, the only question is if he wants to test the free agent waters to see if he can really break the bank.
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.