Photo courtesy of BridgetDS on Flickr. All rights reserved.
Leave it to a kid born in Saskatchewan and an infamous Oilers tweeter to break some Oklahoma CIty Barons news amidst the US’s birthday party. Tonight, one hour before the end of the July 4th holiday, Bob Stauffer tweeted:
The @NHL_Oilers have signed forward Dane Byers to a 1-year, 2-way deal. He is a hard-nosed 26 year-old who has spent six seasons in the AHL
— Bob Stauffer (@Bob_Stauffer) July 5, 2012
Dane Byers, the 2nd round pick selected by the New York Rangers in 2004, is a semi-feisty left winger who seems to have made a living as a minor leaguer with some NHL time thrown in.
Byers spent four years in the WHL as a Prince Albert Raider before he went full time pro within the Rangers farm team. His freshman and sophomore seasons as a pro he registed 46 and 47 points, but a whopping 397 penalty minutes. Byers missed 71 games during the 08-09 season, but roared back a year later with 51 points, 23 of those goals.
The 2010-2011 season was tulmultuous for Byers who spent time with three different minor league teams — Hartford, Springfield and San Antonio. He’d re-emerge a season ago with the Sprinfield Falcons where he’d also add to his resume 8 NHL games, a head-shot to Andrew Desjardins, and a major league suspension.
Rampage Nate did a Q&A over at his site with Byers upon joining the Rampage for a brief tour of duty. Here are a couple of interesting tidbits about Dane and his style of play.
What can fans expect from you?
My game is a pretty simple game- getting the puck in deep, forechecking and things like that and standing up for my teammates if that needs be. Probably not going to go in and score a goal, but I’ll probably get the greasy goals around the net and just play simple.
How did you find out you were traded?
I was just at my apartment about to head in for a skate with my old team. I got the call from my agent saying I was traded. I got the call from Columbus saying I was traded and eventually got a call from Don Maloney from Phoenix. I can’t remember [who I called first]. It’s kind of a whirlwind when it happens. I think it was my dad. Called him and told him I’m moving to Texas, so he was excited. I got traded once earlier in the year too, so I wasn’t really expecting this trade but I think it will work for the best.
Byers appears to be a tad more feisty than finesse when compared to the veteran forwards signed to the Oklahoma City Barons in the last two seasons. To put it bluntly, he’s no Alex Giroux or Ryan Keller, but he certainly fills a gap.
The Barons will need Byers to somehow manage north of 30 points (which he’s clearly capable of doing) for this to be a legit signing. For the Oilers, he’ll need to be ready to go when the callup is made. Much like Giroux, Keller, and Josh Green before him, the expectation for a seasoned farmer is two fold and thus multi-faceted. I believe, on paper, that Dane Byers can do all of those things.
It has been rumored that the Oilers will look to add one more depth defensive player to the system. I’ll agree, but with the reservation that another depth forward might be something needed as well. Or perhaps the maturation of guys like Hartikainen, Cornet, Pitlick, MPS and Lander has come along far enough that they will now be asked to carry the offensive load.
Welcome aboard Dane Byers. Get feisty, play with a frenzy, and please favor us kindly.