2011 Cap Hit: $1,800,000
2012 Status: $1,800,000
Ryan O`Byrne joined the Avalanche in exchange for Michael Bournival. Since joining the team O'Byrne has shown how tough he is by taking a skate to the face and trying to finish his shift. He didn't get off the ice until his teammate urged him to. That represents RoB in essense. He is a man that doesn't give up.
At 6'5 and 234 pounds Ryan takes up a lot of space on the ice, but he doesn't take as many penalties as you might think. He spent 57 minutes in the Sin Bin this past season (less than the previous year), only one of those was a major for fighting. Unlike, seemingly, every other Avalanche player, Ryan's stats aren't as good on the road as they are at home (-9 vs +4). Ryan was relied on to be a defensive shutdown man during the penalty kills, averaging 2:52 seconds on the PK per game, third on the team. Ryan doesn't have much offensive prowess, instead, he is your typical defensive defenseman.
2012 Outlook: In the offseason Ryan will be leading the charge with his charity, the Ryan O'Byrne Charity Camp, then he'll be heading back to Denver for another year.
Sandie's Take: He won me over. I took the loss of former Captain Adam Foote fairly hard. I like defenseman who can stay in their zone and be effective at neutralizing the oppositions' "big names". This season Ryan was able to do that for the Avalanche. As long as he stays away from the green bagels, I think that he'll be able to provide a solid help to the goalies next year.
Cheryl's Take: Confession time. From most of last season through October of this season, I really didn't like Ryan O'Byrne. I thought he was a mediocre defenseman who took way too many penalties. I felt he was limiting opportunities for guys like Cameron Gaunce who have more talent and play a smarter game. But something changed as November came and went. Begrudgingly, I acknowledged that O'Byrne was playing decent hockey. Then the New Year came, and I reluctantly admitted O'Byrne was playing good hockey. By the end of this season, the pairing of Ryan O'Byrne and Jan Hejda was my favorite. OB proved to be a solid, effective shut down d-man, and I'm glad he's signed through next season. There. I admitted it. And it didn't hurt as much as I thought it would.
Cole's Take: Really, Ryan O'Byrne has been a rock on the Avalanche blue line since they traded for him early last year. Last season he let John Michael Liles explode offensively by giving him a steady d-partner on the back end, and this year, partnered with Jan Hejda he gave the Avs their first true shutdown pairing in years. Still, his foot-speed is terrible and gets him into trouble and his offense? Well... Koci-esque. I'm impressed if his shots get within about a yard of the net.
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