Buffalo and the Islanders were eliminated long before they wrapped up the season with New York’s 4-3 shootout win over the Sabres on Sunday. Consequently, it was a game that had very little meaning to the two franchises, but it’s still likely to stick out in at least one player’s mind.
At the age of 32, New York’s Justin Johnson was playing in just his second NHL game and the minor-league enforcer got the opportunity to spar with 6’8″ John Scott. The Sabres forward is about seven inches taller than Johnson and that gap is apparent when the fighters stood face-to-face.
At first it looked like it would be a predictably one-sided brawl, but Johnson battled back and knocked Scott to the ice:
Johnson has five points and 183 penalty minutes in 48 games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers this season.
Born in Anchorage, Alaska, he’s slowly climbed his way up the ranks. He spent four seasons playing for the University of of Alaska-Anchorage, following by parts of five campaigns in the ECHL. He didn’t even make his AHL debut until 2010-11, but he hasn’t fallen below that level since.
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.
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.