Sportsnet’s Mark Spector has written a thought-provoking column on billionaire Pierre Karl Peladeau, who we’ve referenced previously on the pages of PHT as the potential, if not likely, owner of an NHL expansion team in Quebec City.
If you like expansion speculation, the column’s worth a read, because if you didn’t hear, Peladeau just announced his candidacy for election with the Parti Québécois, a provincial party that advocates the separation of Quebec from Canada.
In the past, NHL owners have made some curious decisions when it comes to whom they award franchises to. In Peladeau’s case, his political leanings could hurt the Canadian dollar, either in the short or long term. That would cost NHL owners money, plain and simple, and could cost the owners in Montreal a boatload of money.
Will the current 30 owners want a man in their midst whose every political move could devalue their own franchise? A man whose market would slot in as one of the smaller ones in the NHL, and a decent candidate to be on the wrong side of revenue sharing within the decade?
Translation: Peladeau’s political aspirations may be bad news for hockey fans in Quebec, and good news for hockey fans in Seattle and Las Vegas.
At the very least, the news — combined with the falling Canadian dollar — has tempered our previously high expectations that the Nordiques are bound to be reborn sooner or later.
Related: Is the NHL getting closer to putting a team in Vegas?
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.