Flames Re-sign Paul Bryon

Brad Treliving wrapped up the final pending arbitration case today, inking speedy winger Paul Byron to a one year deal worth $900,000. That’s a modest raise over his previous contract of $600,000 per year. 

Byron was the Flames best bottom-6 possession player this year. He also likely led the team in break-aways/60, if that were a real stat. Fast and agile, Byron is also tenacious, a quality penalty killer and very sturdy on his skates for a guy of his size. If he could have finished his chances with bit more regularity last season, he may have been in line for a bigger Bouma sized bump this summer as well. He didn’t, though, so he was forced to sign another “prove it” contract.

As it stands, this is the perfect contract for the Flames. It gives them another year of a very useful young player who may or may not turn into a fixture on the bottom end of the club’s rotation (depending on how he progresses versus some of the kids nipping at his heels on the depth chart). At $900,000, it’s also a deal that can be burring in the minors with no cap implications if Byron is passed on the depth chart (which is possible, though not probable).

I’m a fan of Paul Byron. I think he brings an element that no one else does in the bottom-6 (blinding speed and ability to push the play north), so I’m glad the Flames have decided to retain him for at least one more season. Now it’s incumbent on the player to prove he should be part of the long-term picture here in Calgary.

With all these forwards locked up, Treliving’s off-season task now turns to figuring out how to trim some of the fat.

    • OKG

      Breakaways that don’t end in goals can still continue into good possessions.

      The same can’t be said for dump-in, which is what most of our roster prefers.

      • RealMcHockeyReturns

        So good Possessions are more important than scoring goals now?

        I think advanced stats has warped/brainwashed you into forgetting that scoring more goals than your opponent wins hockey games…not out possessing them, that guarantees nothing as the Flames made very clear last season

        • Mort

          So dump-ins are more important than scoring goals now?

          The point isn’t that it’s a good thing that Byron doesn’t often score on breakaways, the point is that it’s a good thing that he gets the breakaways in the first place. The goals will come if he continues to get the breakaways.

          I think not caring about advanced stats has warped/brainwashed you into forgetting that goals aren’t PURE MAGIC and that there is some causation behind them. That’s where advanced stats come in. If you get consistently outshot, the odds of you winning go way down. That’s where Byron helps — he helps us not get consistently outshot. Also, I would just like to say that I think a lot of his breakaways last season were bad luck in that he should have scored more often, but the goalies were just often on point against him. If he gets more breakaways this upcoming year, I will bet you that he’ll convert on more of them.

          • The GREAT Walter White

            Why do you refer to corsi as an “advanced” stat? All it is is counting how many times you move the puck towards your opponents net relative to how much they do the same to you, there is nothing advanced about this.

            Do you call it “advanced” to justify it’s relevance/existence on sites like this?

        • DestroDertell

          You’re putting words in his mouth. Failed breakaways are not goals but they bring the puck in the offensive zone, a place where the opponent can’t score (empty net and sleeping goalies aside) but the player who failed the breakaway along with his teammates can.

        • OKG

          Who the hell said possessions are more important than scoring goals?

          Having the puck in the offensive zone IS how you score goals though.

          Byron get sprung on a breakaway

          Goaltender stops it and holds it

          Offensive zone faceoff

          Monahan wins it

          Giordano to Hudler to Gaudreau to the back of the net.

          up 1-0 without Byron getting any real credit for it

          VS the Brandon Bollig special

          Get puck to red line

          Dump it in

          Opponent retrieves puck

          Opponent gets puck into Flameszone

          Opponent scores

          down 0-1 and have to make a comeback

          Bollig back on the ice and starts punching faces to prove we’re a tough team

          • KACaribou

            Yes! All the props.

            Kent is right in stating that cutting the deadwood/trimming the fat is his last giant challenge of the summer. Not as sexy but maybe more difficult than signing Giordano.

      • RealMcHockeyReturns

        Your kidding right??

        Last time I checked you need to score goals to win games….Byron gives the Flames another year of player development for some of there better prospects. Flames philosophy is too get bigger/heavier in order to compete with the big teams (Ducks) in there division. That is the team goal and if your small you better score like Johnny in order to stick….enjoy Byron for 1 more year…..

      • MontanaMan

        This is just a stupid comment and makes people sound like they don’t know the game. The point is that Byron is dreadful on breakaways and he is. The possession analogy is ridiculous and has nothing to do with breakaways.

        • EXACTLY!!!

          Thank you. Someone with an actual brain on this site.

          Reading OKG, Nik and the other mutants on here post pro-corsi garbage all day has caused me to lose multiple brain cells.

          He can’t score on breakaway’s folks…leave the corsi crap out of this, had nothing to do with the original point that was made

          • Let’s leave corsi out of it. In fact let’s leave player names and numbers out of it.

            Situation: Flames are hemmed in their zone a Flames player pressures the opponent’s Dman and chips the puck up the boards into the neutral zone.

            Player A: Loses the foot race and the opponent regains control of the puck and re-enters the Flames end.

            Player B: Wins the foot race and goes in for a break away.


            I don’t care if you are a ‘corsi guy’ or not, at this point EVERYONE can agree the Flames are in a better position to score (AND not be scored on) for the next series of plays with Player B on the ice than Player A regardless of the outcome of the breakaway.

          • I actually agree with you. I am always called a dumb ass by my friends and I’m just trying to get even.

            On a serious note I really think the Oilers are going to win the cup this year. With the addition of McDavid and the improvements on D and goalie I really don’t think anyone can stop them. I wonder what FN fans think of this?

          • T&A4Flames

            Oh man, same old crap from Oiler fans. You traded for yet another back up goalie that you hope proves to be a number 1. Sekera is good but again, not a number 1 and a stretch to be a 1st pairing defender. And McDavid, just another kid that needs to find his way, surrounded by a bunch of losers that have been accepting losing as being a benefit to the team. You won’t even make the playoffs again this year. Sorry, but you need a team to win, not a gang of talented individuals who won’t do the things it takes to win.

          • KACaribou

            “On a serious note I really think the Oilers are going to win the cup this year. With the addition of McDavid and the improvements on D and goalie I really don’t think anyone can stop them. I wonder what FN fans think of this?”

            Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha! rolling on the floor laughing my butt off!

            You are not serious…..

            They signed a BACKUP goalie AGAIN! Oh the Shame!
            They still have 5 third pairing D-men.

          • Parallex

            While I agree on the first part (yet another stab at getting a starter out of some other teams back-up? You’d think after Scrivens/Fasth they’d be sick of that but I guess not), they don’t have five 3rd pairing defenders… Sekara, Fayne, and Klefbom are better then 3rd pairing guys. I think a more accurate description would be that they have zero top pairing defenders, 3 middle pairing defenders and then a lot of bottom pairing guys.

            They’re still outclassed no matter who is on the ice in that regard but it’s not that apocalyptic.

          • BurningSensation

            Given that;

            -McDavid is a rookie

            -The ‘improvement’ on D is coming from the addition of one 2nd pairing guy (Sekera), and one 3rd pairing guy (Gryba), giving you zero 1st pairing guys, and 1 2nd pairing guy, to go with 7 3rd pairing guys.

            -The glaring lack of anything resembling a league average goaltender who has played 40+ games in a season

            I’d say you are one injury (to any of; Hall, McDavid, The Nuge, or Sekera), from being a high lottery team. Again.

          • RedMan

            I think it is safe to say, based on oiler fan comments that the Oilers have ALREADY won the cup this year and the next 8, just the same as they won the cup the last 8 years. Can’t argue with Oiler fans who aren’t hindered by things like reality.

          • RedMan

            All Hail McDavid! He will lead us to the Promised Land! All Hail McDavid!

            – Oiler fan chant in unison everyone night before their bedtime and the first thing every morning, thinking that if they say it often enough it will become true.

  • RealMcHockeyReturns

    Kent, you say Byron is very sturdy on his skates as to allude to the fact he can handle the physical play at his small stature. I don’t mind Byron but he is notorious for getting hurt, the fact is he can’t stay healthy the way smaller more shifty players like Gaudreau and Marty St Louis always did discredits your point.

    That hurts his case for sticking around going forward, lots of young kids (Bennett, Ferland, Arnold, Shore, Granlund, Poirier, Klimchuk) with much higher pedigrees are coming up in the pipeline that need ice time and experience, as a result this might be the final year we see Pauly B in a Flames uniform. If so, thanks for the contributions (when in the lineup) and all the best

    • TheoForever

      If Johnny played as physical as Byron, he would be getting hurt a lot more. The level of physicality by Byron, is way higher then that of Johnny, Raymond, Granlund.

      One has to go back to a year ago, to remember that thug Byron almost killing a Sedin.

  • JayCMcG

    Well I’m happy about Byron sticking around but it’s getting awfully crowded…






    (Shore/Granlund) -> to Stockton




    Smid -> LTIR?


    Too many NHL caliber forwards isn’t a bad problem to have but it doesn’t leave much room for anyone from the ‘A’ to bust through and make the big team out of camp. I suppose there’s less on BT’s plate now that the arb. stuff is taken care of so there’s a chance he could make a few moves here and there…

  • The Real Slim Brodie

    Outside of stats obsessed sites like this no one gives a shit about Paul Byron, guys like him are a dime a dozen. Prove that statement otherwise without using the Corsi argument, it’s pretty tough to do

  • The Real Slim Brodie

    Outside of stats obsessed sites like this no one gives a $hit about Paul Byron. Guys like him are a dime a dozen and can fill out the bottom few spots on a roster.

    Without using Corsi as a means of defending him it’s hard to challenge that statement if we’re all being honest about what he brings to the table.

  • The GREAT Walter White

    OKG and Nik should join forces and run for the NDP’s at the next federal election, they would fit in perfectly with that party of half wits

  • KACaribou

    Byron fan here. I like the way the little guy works and he hits like he’s a lot bigger than he is. The young man has speed and is a great penalty killer. Now if he ever turns those breakaways into goals I am going to be glad he’s on the Flames and we didn’t trade him away too fast.

  • OKG

    Oilers…great Corsi team, the steaming pile of you know what of the league

    Flames…poor Corsi team, but put up over 25 more PTS than the Coil and made the 2nd round if the playoffs with the 2nd lowest salary cap in the NHL last year

    I know who the better team is regardless of what Corsi tells us and who I’d rather cheer for

  • RKD

    I like Paul Byron, and the contract works for the Flames in future and for Byron for this year. He will generate breakaways and if he scores on some – BONUS.
    Meanwhile I’d probably like that BRYON guy that Kent mentions in the headline. That seems like a good signing too.

  • RKD

    Good signing, Bryon’s got great speed and is a threat short handed. I hope he can finish more of his breakaways, he’s got to be a bit more creative than trying to five hole. If he could be a bit more unpredictable or go high backhand stick side he may have a better chance of finishing those chances. Now I hope we can get Gio signed.

  • RKD

    Not sure why there is so much arguing about this contract… it is under a million for a decent depth player.

    Whatever you think about the value of Corsi… just look at a spectrum of Byrons WOWYs (for Corsi.. goals etc) and it is obvious he makes the team better and that he is a useful player.

    He is generally recognized as a useful player by both non stats and stats junkies who KNOW THE GAME.

  • KACaribou

    How come advanced stats people ARE quick to point out that a guy like Bouma can’t sustain his tremendous shooting percentage so he is due for a fall;

    yet they NEVER point out that a guy like Byron, who missed so many breakaways, can’t sustain his bad luck and will eventually score on those chances to bring his shooting percentage back to more normal levels?

    • Mort

      I’m not sure if “advanced stats people” NEVER point out that Byron’s SH% and breakaway conversion percentage is unsustainably low. I had actually made a post earlier in this comment thread in which I said that if he had more breakaways next year, I would bet on him converting on more of them.

      I think that to a degree, people do point out that he’s bound to improve, but they’re drowned out in the sea of people that say “Paul Byron? ISN’T HE THE GUY THAT CAN’T SCORE ON THE BREAKAWAY? LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!1!11!!!!”

    • Reidja

      This is an interesting question. Has anyone done analysis on how much luck vs. skill factors into breakaway conversion?

      Perhaps Kent can shed some light on this?

          • Parallex

            Well… given a large enough sample size you can establish a league wide conversion rate and then (again with a large enough sample size) an individual conversion rate to measure against the whole.

            With your abililty relative to the whole used to indicate skill-level and your current rate relative to career used to determine personal lucky/unlucky. But the problem is that a breakaway is such a niche event that (even if they could easily be tracked) you’re unlikely to get enough occurances to seperate the signal from the noise.

  • KACaribou

    Aside from “he can’t score on breakaways”, the only other quirk you hear about him is he gets injured quite often.

    Other than that I haven’t heard another knock on his game. Watching him he’s solid defensively, he’s tenacious on the puck, surprisingly hard to knock down and has another gear that lets him blow by people. What’s not to like for 900k for 1 year? I don’t get some people. He got snakebit on breakaways one yr and suddenly they think he’s a trash player.

  • Franko J

    Good value signing by the team.

    In some ways all three players who signed in arbitration did contribute to the success the team had last season. Hopefully Byron, Jooris and Bouma all continue to keep playing with an edge and adding the element of speed and hard work in the lineup.

    Maybe I’m behind with all the fancy stats and I’m trying to understand and learn more about the analytical side of things, what I watch on the ice from a player like Byron is the way he provides a spark and energy for the team. From my viewpoint that to me is just as important.

  • Burnward

    He’s a good guy to set the bar.

    If the young guys want to pass him, they’ll have to either outwork him or prove they have more finish.

    In the meantime he’s a very capable fourth liner.