Darren Helm

Red Wings’ Helm (shoulder) may not be ready for Winter Classic


Red Wings forward Darren Helm really wants to take part in the Winter Classic, he’s just not sure he’ll be able to.

The speedy forward has been dealing with a shoulder injury and, according to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, it’s not improving very quickly.

“It’s not where I want it to be at this stage,” Helm said Saturday. “I thought I was going to be questionable for the last game before the break, and I thought for sure I’d be ready for tonight, but that’s not the case.”

The Red Wings face the Florida Panthers tonight in Sunrise and the Nashville Predators on Monday in Tennessee before heading to Ann Arbor for the Winter Classic.

Helm has already missed time this season with a back injury, but when he’s played he’s been effective scoring seven goals and 10 points in 15 games.

If he misses this year’s Winter Classic, it’ll make the second one he’s missed as he was in the AHL for the 2009 Winter Classic in Chicago. He did play in 16 games that season for the Wings.

Isles claim goalie Berube off waivers

Evgeny Kuznetsov, Jaroslav Halak
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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.

Leafs claim Corrado from Canucks, waive Panik

Frank Corrado
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The Toronto Maple Leafs have claimed one of the more intriguing players placed on waivers — former Vancouver defenseman Frank Corrado.

Corrado, 22, was waived by the Canucks on Monday. The former OHL standout had appeared in 28 career games for Vancouver — including 10 last year — but was squeezed out of an NHL spot following the emergence of Ben Hutton, who surprised many onlookers by making the 23-man roster.

Canucks GM Jim Benning will receive criticism for losing an asset like Corrado for nothing. Several Vancouver pundits warned of exposing a young, promising d-man to waivers and those warnings ultimately proved accurate.

With Toronto, Corrado could push for playing time as the club indicated on Monday veteran d-man Sephane Robidas wouldn’t be with the team to start the year. That would leave the the Leafs with seven healthy blueliners: Dion Phaneuf, Jake Gardiner, Roman Polak, Morgan Rielly, Matt Hunwick, Martin Marincin and Scott Harrington, who can go to the minors without having to clear waivers.

Petter Granberg, another defenseman, is currently on IR.

In a corresponding move to the Corrado claim, the Leafs put forward Richard Panik on waivers. Panik, who Toronto plucked off waivers from Tampa Bay last year, appeared in 76 games for the Leafs, scoring 11 goals and 17 points.