A “pure goal-scorer,” Dany Heatley is a player Anaheim general manager Bob Murray has “always liked.”
So you can imagine Murray was pretty happy yesterday to get Heatley signed to a one-year contract for a paltry (relatively speaking) $1 million.
Looking ahead to next season, Murray feels the 33-year-old winger will have motivations beyond a regular paycheck.
“He’s struggled the last couple of years for different reasons,” Murray told the L.A. Times. “A great opportunity presented itself. We’re a good match for each other at this moment.… I think he’s a very proud athlete. It hasn’t gone quite right and I think he knows that somewhere down the line the end is coming. And I don’t think he wants it to end like this.”
A former 50-goal scorer (twice), Heatley had just 12 goals in 76 games for the Wild in 2013-14. That being said, he still feels he has the wheels to keep up in the NHL.
“I’m still quick enough, fast enough, and I can score goals,” he said.
And he’ll get the chance to prove it next season with a Ducks team that boasts one of the premier passing centers in the game, Ryan Getzlaf.
While Heatley may or may not skate on Getzlaf’s line, it sounds like he’ll get ample time on a power play that Murray concedes “wasn’t very bloody good last year.”
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.