Vancouver Canucks v Carolina Hurricanes

Canucks’ Kassian gets ejected for boarding; will face hearing (Update)


Update: The CBC’s Elliotte Friedman reports that Zack Kassian will face a disciplinary hearing. At this time, it’s unclear if it will be in-person or a less serious telephone hearing.


After a rocky first period against the Dallas Stars, it’s unclear if Eddie Lack will be back in the middle frame for the Vancouver Canucks. One thing’s certain, though: Zack Kassian won’t.

The rugged winger received a game misconduct and five-minute major for boarding Stars defenseman Brenden Dillon on Thursday. Kassian already was suspended for five games earlier this season thanks to that hi-sticking infraction on Edmonton Oilers forward Sam Gagner and came into the NHL with a reputation for questionable hits.

Video of the hit will be added upon availability, but here are two takes from the game in the meantime:

Not exactly ideal timing for a Canucks team that is grasping for optimism, but at least there’s time for Vancouver to turn it around.

(Of course, a pessimist might point out that there’s also plenty of time for things to get even worse.)

Habs claim Byron off waivers from Flames

Paul Byron
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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.

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.