Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thoughts on the O'Byrne deal

As everyone in the hockey world may have heard, the Avs made a trade today with the Canadiens bringing in a monster of a defenseman in Ryan O'Byrne. They gave up prospect Michael Bournival of Shawinigan of the QMJHL. The move wasn't surprising as the Avs defensemen seem to be dropping like flies lately even though Foote should be back soon and they were forced to play with 4 rookies last game.

This is a pretty big deal for the Avs as O'Byrne will bring some much needed size to the back end. At 6'5" 230 pounds, he's the biggest defenseman the Avs have now. From all accounts, he uses his size and likes to hit, he blocks shots, and he's not afraid to drop the gloves. Fans probably shouldn't expect him to put up Mike Green type numbers offensively but he will help solidify the back end with his physical play.

O'Byrne wasn't working out in Montreal. It seems like ever since this goal, the coaches never had the same confidence in him as he never really saw consistent playing time after that. Montreal is no easy city to play in because of the expectations the media and fans put on the players. O'Byrne fell victim to this and the change of scenery could be exactly what he needs. Guillaume Latendresse is a good example of what a move out of Montreal can do for a players confidence.

The loss of Bournival is certainly pretty big as he's starting to make a name for himself and playing himself onto the radar of Canada's World Junior squad. He was drafted this past June in the 3rd round (71st overall) and has put up 24 points for the Cataractes in just 17 games. He wasn't going to make the Avs anytime soon and should be able to be replaced in the upcoming draft.

Joe Sacco said that O'Byrne will be available to play tomorrow night when the Avs head to Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets. Foote will not play and neither will Ryan Wilson who is suffering from a blood clot in his leg.

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