Winnipeg Jets power forward Evander Kane is listed as questionable with a lower-body injury for Monday’s game against the New York Rangers, the Winnipeg Sun reports.
Kane, 22, worked out off the ice on a stationary bike instead of practicing on Sunday, which isn’t a great sign.
It’s been a frustrating season so far for Kane, especially in November, as he only scored five points during that 12-game stretch. He’s already failed to record a point in 15 contests this season.
While his struggles are a problem, it doesn’t seem like head coach Claude Noel sees an obvious solution in his replacements.
“We’re trying to find personnel, more than anything,” said Noel. “We’ve got our 23 players and I don’t think there’s a lock on who can be on the power play. Whether you’ve got one unit, second unit, third unit, fourth unit, we need execution, we need puck recovery, we need winning battles and we need production. And we’re not getting it.
“It’s almost like an audition. Who wants this thing? I’ll just judge by who is playing well in the game. If guys are going good in the game, maybe they go. You’ve got to be ready to go.”
Well, that doesn’t sound very promising.
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.