Bowen Byram is excited to start the upcoming season in Buffalo

Bowen Byram is excited to start the upcoming season in Buffalo

Buffalo, New York (WGR 550) – Bo Byram was able to play 18 games with the Buffalo Sabers after being traded from the Colorado Avalanche on March 6.

The left-handed defenseman had three goals and six assists for nine points, but after a good first few games, he seemed very confused with head coach Don Granato’s defensive system.

Byram is currently playing for Canada at the World Championship in Czechia and has a goal and two assists for three points in three games. Byram now plays for Utah coach Andre Tourigny and looks pretty good.

After the season, Byram talked about playing with players around 22 years old. This would include Dylan Cozens, Rasmus Dahlin, Mattias Samuelsson, Ryan Johnson, Peyton Krebs, Devon Levi, Jack Quinn, JJ Peterka and Owen Power. At the time, Lindy Ruff wasn’t even the team’s head coach yet.

“I think we have a motivated group of guys here that want to win and fight. So it’s a great summer for everyone,” Byram said during his end-of-season press conference.

Listening to his comments, having Ruff as the new coach doesn’t really change how he feels about this team. Marty Wilford, with help from Dan Girardi, has done a good job on defense and Wilford will have the same job under Ruff. Byram said:

“We have a lot of good players here and at the end of the day we take responsibility for our performances and I’m excited for the future and in the future it will be exciting because every new year brings a new challenge and we have a lot of guys with a lot of dynamism in this room.

I think Byram is very insightful, because every season is different and you never pick up where you left off. In my mind this was the biggest mistake of last off season, from the GM all the way down to the players, they thought they were all set and would pick up where they left off when They were only missing one point for the playoffs. Captain Kyle Okposo gave them plenty of warning that this wouldn’t happen, but it fell on deaf ears.

Listening to Byram, you could tell he was frustrated with this play during his short time in Buffalo. He said,

“It’s never easy, getting to the middle of a year it was a bit of a gong show at times, but that’s what we signed up for and it’s part of the job. I feel like when I got here I just went out and played and I thought I was playing some of my best hockey, but over time you try to learn how the coaches want you play and learn new things. systems, this can make things difficult.

“I felt like for a while I was overthinking and I think when I go out and play and just try to trust my instincts, that’s when I play my best and I have to be responsible to myself because I wasn’t good enough for some parts, so it’ll be good to come to training camp and get my feet back under me.

The Sabers played better defensively after the first of the year, but they still turned the puck over too much, which took them out of what little structure they had. The structure will change under Ruff.

Byram talked about what the next coach would get because Ruff hadn’t been hired yet, but he said:

“I think the next coach comes in a good situation, he has a lot of good young players to work with and to mold us into the style he wants us to play.”

Byram feels he’s fitting in pretty well with his new team and it’s a team he wants to be a part of. He mentioned when he arrived here that if he were to be traded, he wanted to come to Buffalo to join people he knows like Cozens, Krebs, Quinn and Levi. He also played with Erik Johnson and Tyson Jost, but neither will be there next season. Byram said:

“I want to be part of the solution here, I want to help this team win and I’m super excited to be here.”

Byram started playing with Dahlin when he got here. It worked great at first, but then it didn’t work. After that, he was sometimes paired with Henri Jokiharju and Owen Power. It will be interesting to see if Ruff wants him on the first pair with Dahlin. Samuelsson will be back in the mix too likely for Jacob Bryson, and one of them will have to move down to the third pairing to play with Connor Clifton.

When I looked at player ages, if Zemgus Girgensons hit free agency and Jeff Skinner was bought out, Clifton would be the oldest Sabers player at 29, while Alex Tuch would be next at 28.

Of course, this may change depending on transactions and signatures.

Losi and Gangi

Photo credit Losi & Gangi