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REPORT: Avalanche Players Knew They’d Lose Byram Eventually



Avalanche Bowen Byram nhl

When Devon Toews signed his extension with the Colorado Avalanche at the start of the regular season, it essentially put a ceiling on how high Bowen Byram could go on the depth chart in Colorado. A trade felt inevitable, although one happening at the deadline was a little surprising.

As it turns out, Avalanche players always knew they’d eventually lose Byram, dating all the way back his performance in the 2022 Stanley Cup Final.

On the newest episode of 32 Thoughts, while Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek were talking about the rise of the Buffalo Sabres since the trade deadline, Friedman dropped this nugget about Byram.

“I remember two years ago when Colorado was in the Stanley Cup final and Byram played as great as he did. I remember some of the Avalanche players told me, ‘eventually we’re going to lose this guy. And the reason we’re going to lose this guy is because he’s going to want to be the #1 defenseman on a team.’ There’s a nine letter name (Cale Makar) why he’s never going to be a #1 in Denver. And the Avalanche knew that too. They knew the day would come that they were going to lose him because he wanted a chance to be the #1 guy. It was an organizational philosophy that they were going to trade him once they knew they had the right person and they felt that Mittelstadt was the right person.”

There’s nothing wrong with Byram wanting to go somewhere where he can be “the guy.” You want players that are motivated to be the best, but as long as Cale Makar was around, that wasn’t going to happen in Colorado. We’ll find out soon enough if Buffalo is the right spot for him, as they’ve already got Rasmus Dahlin and Owen Power on their blueline, but early returns have been pretty darn good.

Both sides can say the same, though. Mittelstadt has been a great fit in Colorado, and plugs a hole the organization has been trying to fill since Nazem Kadri left in free agency. Right now, the trade looks like a win for both teams.

CHN wishes Byram all the best in Buffalo, and will be rooting for the Sabres down the stretch to sneak into the postseason. Seems like no one else in the East wants that final playoff spot, so someone has to take it.

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