Jobs are dwindling fast, so for many veteran players, AHL deals may be the only opportunity left. That’s the case for Jean-Francois Berube, who has signed an AHL contract with the Ontario Reign for the upcoming season. Berube became an unrestricted free agent this offseason after his one-year contract with the New York Rangers expired.
Berube, 29, has 34 games of NHL experience, mostly with the New York Islanders, but hasn’t seen that level since 2018. The last two seasons he has been exclusively an AHL netminder, playing for the Cleveland Monsters, Lehigh Valley Phantoms, and Hartford Wolf Pack. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been very effective at any of those stops, with a .906 with the Phantoms coming in as his best save percentage between the three.
For at least this season, he’ll have to work in the minor leagues with no chance of call-up, unless his deal is converted into an NHL contract at some point. That will likely be the case for many veterans who haven’t had much recent success, as the financial climate forces teams to pinch pennies where they can.