When the Chicago Blackhawks face either the Los Angeles Kings or Anaheim Ducks in the Western Conference Final, they’ll do it with Andrew Shaw likely back in the lineup.
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville gave the update on Shaw on Thursday as Tracey Myers of CSNChicago.com shares. The scrappy forward has been out with a right leg injury since getting hurt during Game 1 against the Minnesota Wild.
“We expect to have him back on the ice this weekend and we’ll get a better determination of when he’ll play,” said Quenneville. “He certainly adds an ingredient you appreciate as a coach and a teammate. He has that relentless competitiveness, some skill offensive and he’s hard to play against. He has a nice set of hands, can take face-offs, can play center and wing. You look forward to getting him back.“
While a Game 1 return doesn’t appear likely with Game 1 of the Western Final coming on Sunday in either Anaheim or Chicago, getting him back at all provides a lift.
Joakim Nordstrom took Shaw’s spot in the lineup in the meantime, but with Shaw’s ability to annoy opponents and produce offensively, they’ll get a big lift to have him back against the Ducks or Kings.
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.