Don Cherry had a very simple message for Toronto Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri during Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday night: Smarten up.
Sean Fitz-Gerald of The National Post shares Cherry’s advice to Kadri.
“You know how I like this guy,” Cherry said. “How he could do what he did; hit the goaltender, he could have been suspended twice … Smarten up, Kadri. Nazem, you know what I think of you, but you played stupid. They could use you right now.”
Kadri is serving a three-game suspension for running, and injuring, Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom and his absence along with injuries to Tyler Bozak and Dave Bolland put the Leafs in a bind up the middle. They played both games of their home-and-home set against the Buffalo Sabres and will play Tuesday’s game against the New York Islanders without Kadri.
In the meantime, they’ve had to call up Trevor Smith from the AHL and acquired Peter Holland from the Anaheim Ducks to help fill ranks at center. Kadri will return on Thursday night when the Leafs face the Nashville Predators.
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.