The Montreal Canadiens have announced that former forward Paul Byron is retiring from playing hockey. Byron won’t be out of work long though as the club has also named him a Player Development Consultant with the team. The Ottawa, Ontario native spent seven years with the Canadiens after starting his career with the Buffalo Sabres and having a four-year run with the Calgary Flames.
Byron’s best season came in 2016-17 as a member of the Canadiens when he posted 22 goals and 21 assists in 81 games. He followed that up with a pair of strong seasons before injuries began to derail his career in 2019-20. Byron played for a number of years with a severe hip injury even taking cortisone injections at times to try and get through the pain of the ailment.
Byron eventually had surgery on his left hip and missed half of the 2021-22 season. He returned to play his 500th career NHL game and even scored a goal during the milestone event. Last season the Canadiens placed Byron on LTIR, and he did not return, missing the final season of his four-year contract.
It’s an unfortunate end for Byron, but it is a positive to see him still involved with hockey and the Canadiens. One can only hope that Byron’s injury is able to heal over time as his body will no longer take the physical toll that comes with being an NHL player. He will finish his NHL career with 98 career goals to go along with 110 assists in 521 career games.