One of the longest-tenured Devils will be sticking around for a while.
On Wednesday, New Jersey GM Lou Lamoriello announced a long-term extension for defenseman Andy Greene. Greene, 31, has one year remaining on his current deal — a four-year, $12 million pact with a $3M annual cap hit — meaning his extension will kick in for the 2015-16 campaign.
UPDATE: Per NorthJersey.com, it’s a five-year deal worth $25 million. It carries a $5M annual cap hit and Greene will get $5M in salary in each of the five years. It makes Greene New Jersey’s highest-paid rearguard.
An unsigned college free agent that inked with the Devils in 2006, Greene has spent his entire eight-year career with New Jersey while appearing in nearly 500 regular season contests. Last year, he emerged as arguably the club’s most important blueliner — in addition to scoring a career-best eight goals, Greene averaged a whopping 24:35 TOI per night and led the Devils in blocked shots, with 129.
At the start of this season, New Jersey showed what it felt of Greene’s ability and leadership skills by naming him an alternate captain for the first time in his career. It was a fitting choice, as Greene is the club’s third-longest tenured player behind the Devils’ other two alternate captains, Travis Zajac and Patrik Elias.
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.