Longtime NHL forward announces retirement at 34-years-old

Published September 20, 2023 at 2:11 PM
After spending parts of 12 seasons in the National Hockey League with the Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames and Montreal Canadiens, forward Paul Byron has announced his retirement.

Byron, 34, missed the entire 2022-23 season due to a hip injury and was placed on LTIR for the year. He became an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and it was rumoured for quite a while that his career was likely coming to a close.

"To the Montreal Canadiens organization, Marc Bergevin, the Molson family, coaches, trainers, all the staff, I can't thank you enough for everything over the last 8 years. Getting claimed on waivers changed my life and career. I'll forever be grateful for that. Eight years in one place is a long time in the hockey world, and the rink was a second home. I can't help but feel so incredibly proud and lucky to have been given the opportunity to wear the Canadiens jersey. Our run in 2021 was a truly magical experience, and even though we just fell short, it's something that I know no one will ever forget.

Thank you to all the great Canadiens fans for your unwavering support and passion for the team. Your energy and pride are felt not only at the Bell Centre but in many road cities as well. You make playing for the Montreal Canadiens a truly special experience." Part of Byron's letter to the fans said.

Meanwhile, the Canadiens have announced that Byron will remain with the organization as a Player Development consultant. He will be with the players during on-ice sessions and oversee their progression off the ice, the Canadiens say.

"On behalf of the entire organization, I would like to congratulate Paul on his long career as a professional hockey player, said Owner, President and CEO of the Canadiens, Geoff Molson. A major contributor both on and off the ice, Paul epitomizes what it means to be a Montreal Canadien. Through his leadership, his kindness and his presence in the community, Paul has left his mark during his seven seasons in Montreal, and we're very happy to have him join the player development department. His experience, communication and approach will benefit both our players and prospects."

Byron's best seasons of his NHL career were with the Montreal Canadiens, who claimed him off waivers from Calgary ahead of the 2015-16 season. Arguably, Byron is one of the best waiver claims in NHL history, going on to record back-to-back 20-goal seasons during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. Byron also scored a very important goal during the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which was a shorthanded game-winner in Game 1 of the first round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Congratulations to Paul Byron on a solid career in the NHL and all the best in retirement!

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