Colorado Avalanche defenseman Bowen Byram remains on personal leave after continuing to suffer from post-concussion symptoms, and general manager Joe Sakic doesn’t seem intent on rushing the prized young player back into the lineup anytime soon. Speaking today, as reported by The Denver Post’s Mike Chambers, Sakic had the following to say:
We’re giving him his space. He needs some time. He’s a great young hockey player (who) is going to have a long career… we want to make sure that when he does come back, there’s no lingering issues. And it’ll be on his time timetable.
Byram suffered a concussion in mid-November 2021 after already missing considerable time in during the 2020-21 season due to a concussion. After roughly two weeks, Byram came back to the team and played two games, but then remained out of the lineup for another month with symptoms. He returned to the team in the new year and played five games in early January, but hasn’t suited up since January 10th against Seattle. He took a personal leave from the team the following day.
Just 20 years old, the fourth-overall selection in 2019 had 11 points in 18 games this year, all the while playing 19:34 per game. The future is exceedingly bright for Byram, and many would agree that the team and Byram are both making the best choice here for his long-term health.
It’s not like the Avalanche are starving for point production from their back end. Cale Makar has 44 points in 40 games, Devon Toews has 32 in 33, Samuel Girard has 26 in 42, and even the veteran Erik Johnson is chipping in with 15 points.
When Byram does return to the lineup, though, hopefully with a sparkling clean bill of health, it’ll be an exciting moment for him and Avalanche fans. For the best, however, it seems as though that moment won’t come for a while yet.