The Pittsburgh Penguins might have lost forward Pascal Dupuis for the rest of the season due to a knee injury that requires surgery.
He was part of the Penguins top line and had 20 points in 39 games. He also got regular minutes while the team was killing penalties.
So this is a loss that will be felt by Pittsburgh, but at least the timing of Dupuis’ injury gives them an opportunity to adjust.
“If this injury happens after the trade deadline, it’s much more of a problem,” Penguins GM Ray Shero told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Josh Yohe.
The Penguins aren’t likely to be nearly as bold as they were around the deadline last season when they acquired Jarome Iginla, Douglas Murray, Brenden Morrow, and Jussi Jokinen, but losing Dupuis gives them extra motivation make a significant move.
In the meantime though, the Penguins still have plenty of weapons.
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.