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Veteran NHLer O’Byrne heads to KHL

Sep 2, 2013, 2:10 PM EDT

Ryan O'Byrne #23 of the Toronto Maple Leafs tries to contain Jaromir Jagr #68 of the Boston Bruins in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs May 12, 2013 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
(May 11, 2013 - Source: Abelimages/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

Ryan O’Byrne has spent parts of the last six seasons in the NHL, but after a couple months as an unrestricted free agent, the Canadian defenseman has decided to sign a two-year deal with HC Lev Praha of the Kontinental Hockey League, according to TSN.

Lev is the only team in the KHL that’s located in the Czech Republic and its roster includes some other former NHLers like Marc-Andre Gragnani and Erik Christensen.

O’Byrne was originally taken in the third round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the Montreal Canadiens, but was traded to the Colorado Avalanche in 2010.

He had a goal and four points in 34 contests with Colorado last season before he was sent to Toronto on April 3 in exchange for a fourth round draft pick. He recorded another two points and had a plus-four rating in eight matches with the Maple Leafs. Over his NHL career, the 29-year-old has recorded 39 points and 369 penalty minutes in 308 games.

  1. packerswin96 - Sep 2, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    Very surprised no NHL team wanted this guy.

  2. blomfeld - Sep 2, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    THE KHL IS ‘NOT’ A THREAT TODAY AND IT ‘WON’T’ BE TOMORROW !

    Unlike these so-called ‘stars’ such as Ovechkin or Kovalchuk who have to face an ‘endless sea’ of financial considerations over there in the KHL including but not limited to protection against extortion, bribery, kidnapping, etc … the biggest concern for journeymen like this O’Byrne character will be things like falling down an open manhole, boarding an unsafe Aeroflot flight or drinking radio-active tap water in his hotel room. In fact, the Swedish “Elite Serien’ is a far bigger threat to the NHL than anything the KHL could ever hope to be.

    • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 3, 2013 at 4:03 PM

      No European league is a threat to the NHL. All you have to do is look at the size of the arenas in these leagues. European arenas are on par with AHL arenas for capacity. The teams that can afford stars are usually those owned by Russian oil tycoons who have more money to spend than common sense.

      • blomfeld - Sep 3, 2013 at 11:51 PM

        I think you’re one of those people who said something ‘hurtful’ to me lately ? … I’m therefore going to ‘stand down’ in terms of replying to you …

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 5, 2013 at 9:03 AM

        Yeah, that’s mature… Someone had a differing opinion than yours on something in the past, so you might as well act like a child and give them the silent treatment. That’s adult.

        If you ever decide to grow up and be an adult… Feel free to join the conversation.

  3. nhstateline - Sep 3, 2013 at 7:46 AM

    Guys like this are most impacted by the cap going down. Not cheap and not a star. It depends on how much one is willing to put up with in exchange for money to decide if the KHL is a good career/financial move or not. In this case, living in Czech will be fine as place to live meaning it’s a lot less to put up with than, say, going to the Russian Far East.

  4. kingsforever - Sep 3, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    lol I love have Blomfield always headlines his posts

    • blomfeld - Sep 3, 2013 at 11:58 PM

      “Good Times” friend ! :)

      In all seriousness, we fans of the ‘proven winners’ have to be forever vigilant against those who are seething with envy … and we will be, God willing ! :)

      *** special video selection by a ‘proven winner’ for all those who are excellent LA Kings fans ***

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