Byram’s season ends, on to World Championship

(Photo by Josiah Spyker, Vista Radio)

With the Buffalo Sabres not making the playoffs, Cranbrook’s Bowen Byram is headed to Czechia to represent Canada at the Ice Hockey World Championship.

During the Sabres’ end-of-year press conference, Byram was a man of few words when it came to speaking about playing for Team Canada.

“Yeah, I’m going to go,” said Byram.

But he did have a lot to say about how the NHL regular season went and how he can improve as a player.

“Personally, I don’t think I had the best season, even earlier when I was with Colorado, I think it was a little bit of a disappointing season for me,” he said.

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“I know that I have to work extremely hard this summer and come in the best shape possible.”

Byram was traded to Buffalo during this year’s trade deadline. He said the transition to a new team can be hard, but he has time now to get settled in.

“It’s never easy but it’s what we signed up for,” Byram added.

“I just try to take it in stride and it will be nice to have a full summer to get organized and get my feet back under me.”

One of the tougher parts of being traded was going from a Stanley Cup contender to a team out of the playoffs.

“You always want to be playing in meaningful games, playing in the playoffs and competing for a Stanley Cup, but at the end of the day, we weren’t good enough this year,” he said.

“That’s on us. It’s different coming from a place where I made the playoffs every year of my career so far.  Playing in meaningless games down the stretch was a weird feeling for me.”

He said the team has a lot to work on together before next season.

“Going forward it’s going to be exciting,” he said.

“Every new year brings a new challenge. I think we have a lot of guys who have a lot of drive in this room. We’ll have a good summer, it’s a big summer for all of us going into next year. We’ll be excited and ready to go for a fresh start.”

Byram will be playing with fellow teammates Owen Power and Dylan Cozens at the World Championships.

The tournament is typically made up of the best players who didn’t make the playoffs or were eliminated in the first round.

It runs from May 10-26.

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