Saturday, May 8, 2010

The NYR Facts Of Life: #36 Dane Byers

For each player who suited up in a Blueshirt this season we will take the good, we will take the bad and take them both and see what we have. Even though injuries weren't a big issue this season, there was enough for some Hartford players to get a look-see, with #36 Dane Byers being one of them.

#36's #s: 5 games, 1 goal (on 3 shots, 0 assists, +1, 31 PIM.

Take the good: Byers was a late call-up for his first game of the year and he stepped right in and scored (banging in a Wade Redden rebound of all people). After seeing his ice time reduced the next game, Byers came back in the third and stepped up for Marian Gaborik. After seeing Bieksa rough Gabby up and Ryan Kelser jab him after a whistle, Byers lost it and went after the Canucks. Being a good teammate like that was something that too few of the Rangers had until it was too late in the season.

Take the bad: Byers never got to see it happen as he was banished to Hartford after just five games in all. After potting that goal on three shots in 9:33 of ice time, Byers didn't get more than six minutes over the next four games and didn't manage another shot. One could argue, and I'm sure hypocritical Tortorella did, that Byers overreacted in the aforementioned tussle in Vancouver game and the Byers instigator late in the same game against Tanner Glass was senseless (I disagree on both counts, but one could argue it).

Take them both and then we have: Brandon Prust without as much of a penchant for fighting. Byers is a tough, grinding forward with some offensive upside (he did have 25 goals and 27 assists in 74 games Hartford to go with 100 PIM) but he doesn't have the speed that Tortorella demands.

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