While in Switzerland, getting ready for what he hopes will be his comeback campaign, Jonas Hiller suffered an appendicitis attack, as first reported by Le Nouvelliste’s Johan Tachet and the Swiss Hockey News.
It was initially unclear how serious the incident was, but he ended up only needing a minor procedure, according to the Calgary Sun’s Wes Gilbertson.
Hiller signed a two-year, $9 million contract with the Calgary Flames after falling out of favor in Anaheim during the 2013-14 campaign and wasn’t consistently used as the team’s starter in the playoffs.
“To be able to play at your best, you have to feel like people trust you and people want you there, which I didn’t really feel was the case (in Anaheim), especially in the second half of the season last year,” Hiller told the Calgary Sun. “It’s always tough to not doubt yourself if the coach doubts you and doesn’t really want to play you against the big teams.”
He’ll have plenty of opportunities to reaffirm his position as an NHL starter in Calgary.
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.