Zac Rinaldo can hit and he doesn’t mind dropping the gloves – all part of being a role player often used on the Philadelphia Flyers’ fourth line.
But he’s been given a chance to expand his capacity, by being put on the penalty kill. On Friday, he played a combined 1:34 on the penalty kill, with most of that coming in the first period.
However, it should be noted that one of those special teams’ shifts ended on a Winnipeg Jets power play goal.
That said, it’s still an opportunity for Rinaldo to contribute to the Flyers in a different way, although he doesn’t want to put any special emphasis on his new duties.
“I’m excited about it … The more responsibility, the better for me,” Rinaldo told CSN Philadelphia.
“I’m more useful if I don’t have a different mindset. Just skate hard and play on the PK like it’s my last shift.”
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.