Markus Naslund, the former captain of the Vancouver Canucks, is no longer the general manager of the Swedish club MoDo and there are rumors circulating he could return to the NHL team where his No. 19 is retired.
However, Naslund, who played for the Canucks from 1996 to 2008 and was the team’s captain, denied speculation of a return to Vancouver.
“This has nothing to do with anything in North America,” said Naslund, as per CBC
. “This is a decision made here a little over a month ago, that I was not going to sign another deal. I’m ready to do something different.
“I can see why there is speculation. But there is nothing to the rumours.”
His 346 goals in a Canucks uniform still leads the franchise, and his 756 points are third, behind Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin.
Speaking on Team 1040 radio, Canucks general manager Mike Gillis, Naslund’s former agent, talked about the possibility of his former client coming back to take a position with Vancouver’s NHL team.
“I haven’t discussed it with him yet. I could certainly see Markus being part of this organization. He’s been a huge part of it in the past,” said Gillis on Friday (click here for the audio)
“I think Markus would be a wonderful addition to any team staff, but he liked living in Vancouver. I was going to try and give him a call in the next couple of days and see what his immediate plans are and see what happens.”
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.