July 19, 1984 |
Victoria, BC, CAN
|Height||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|Weight||234 lb (106 kg; 16 st 10 lb)|
|Toronto Maple Leafs
|NHL Draft||79th overall, 2003
Ryan David O'Byrne (born July 19, 1984) is a Canadian professional ice hockey player currently playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League (NHL). During the 2012–13 NHL lockout, O'Byrne joined the Florida Everblades of the ECHL for playing time, after serving as an assistant coach for the Victoria Grizzlies in the BCHL.
Playing career 
O'Byrne attended the private St. Michaels University School in British Columbia and played two season's of junior in the BCHL with the Victoria Salsa and Nanaimo Clippers. Instead of continuing a CHL career, O'Byrne opted to play U.S. collegiate hockey and committed to Cornell University of New York. Prior to playing his freshman year with Cornell, Ryan was drafted in the third round, 79th overall, by the Montreal Canadiens in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Selected due to his large physical frame and potential as a shut-down defenseman, he played in 31 games with the Big Red contributing only 2 assists. Improving offensively with 3 goals and 10 points in his sophomore season of 2004–05, O'byrne helped Cornell regain the ECAC Championship with a 3-1 win over Harvard before losing in the West Regional Final to the University of Minnesota.
In his junior year, O'Byrne entrenched himself as a top defender within Cornell's ECAC leading defense corps to be selected as a First Team All-Ivy player. Despite missing nearly a month to injury, O'Byrne led all Big Red defenseman with 7 goals and 13 points in 28 games and was named in the ECAC Third-Team before losing in a rematch to Harvard in the ECAC Championship. O'Byrne was selected by Cornell Coach Mike Schäfer as an alternate captain, but decided to forgo his senior year to begin his professional career signing a two-year entry level contract with the Montreal Canadiens on August 9, 2006.
After attending his first Montreal training camp, he was assigned to American Hockey League affiliate, the Hamilton Bulldogs, for the 2006–07 season. As a stay-at-home defensive-defenseman, Ryan produced just 12 assists in 80 games with the Bulldogs, waiting until the playoffs to score his first professional goals. In scoring his first goal, an opening series clinching goal over the Rochester Americans, he helped the Bulldogs advance to the Conference Semi-finals. In the Championship finals he then produced his second game-winning goal a game three win over the Hershey Bears en route to claiming the Calder Cup.
In the following 2007–08 season, O'Byrne resumed playing with Hamilton before he was later recalled to the Canadiens and made his NHL debut, recording two assists, in a 4-2 victory over the Boston Bruins on December 6, 2007. Ryan missed a month of the season after suffering a broken thumb, before returning to health and scoring his first NHL goal in a 6-4 defeat to the San Jose Sharks on March 4, 2008. He finished the season, while splitting time between Hamilton and Montreal, to finish with 33 games.
O'Byrne was then re-signed to a three-year contract with the Canadiens on July 16, 2008. He made the Canadiens opening night roster for the 2008–09 season, and was used as a reserve defenseman. With two stints in the AHL, O'Byrne appeared in 37 games for five assists, however his season was highlighted and gained the most attention on November 24, 2008, when he unintentionally tied the score with an own goal in the last minutes of a game against the New York Islanders, in which the Canadiens would go on to lose 4-3 in overtime. In his second game of the 2009–10 campaign with the Canadiens, Ryan suffered a knee injury causing him to miss the next 20 games. Upon his return, O'Byrne established himself as a regular within the defense corps. On December 4, 2009, he changed his jersey number to 20 due to retiring of the number 3 in honour of Emile Bouchard for the Canadiens Centennial celebrations. Similar to Ray Bourque's homage to Phil Esposito in Boston, Ryan wore the number 20 jersey underneath his number 3 jersey and as a surprise, unveiled his new number during the banner hanging and presented Bouchard his jersey as a token of being the last to wear the number 3 for the Canadiens. O'Byrne finished his first full NHL season, appearing in a career high 55 games and 13 post-season games as the Canadiens reached the Eastern Conference finals.
To begin the 2010–11 season, O'Byrne was relegated as a depth defenceman on the Habs blueline. In the final year of his contract and unable to establish a position he was traded by the Canadiens to the Colorado Avalanche for forward prospect Michaël Bournival on November 11, 2010. In his first game with the Avalanche, Ryan recorded a career high in ice time in a 5-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on November 12, 2010.
During the 2012–13 NHL lockout, O'Byrne joined the Victoria Grizzlies of the BCHL as a coach, but left the position to join the Florida Everblades of the ECHL in order to get some ice time and at the same time effectively work in his position as the NHLPA's representative for the Avalanche. He rejoined the Avalanche at the conclusion of the lockout.
In the midst of the 2012–13 season and in the final year of his contract at the trade deadline, O'Byrne was dealt by the Avalanche to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft on April 3, 2013. On April 8, 2013 O'Byrne scored his first goal as a Maple Leaf.
February 2008 arrest 
On February 11, 2008, O'Byrne and teammate Tom Kostopoulos were arrested with force outside a Tampa Bay, Florida nightclub following the team's rookie dinner for a purse-snatching incident. He was charged that night with grand theft after police found him with a woman's purse in one hand making a call with her cellphone in the other. Kostopoulos was charged with resisting the officers after he was told to back off while they were dealing with O'Byrne. Both were eventually released on bail—O'Byrne's was $2,000, Kostopoulos' was $500. The charges against Kostopoulos were dropped a few weeks later, while those against O'Byrne were dropped in July 2008, after he apologized to the victim and conceded to do community service in Canada.
Career statistics 
|2012–13||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||8||1||1||2||6||6||0||0||0||4|
- Dheensaw, Cleve (30 November 2012). "O'Byrne heads to ECHL for play time". Times Colonist. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
- "Five Cornell players selected in NHL draft". CornellBigRed.com. 2003-06-22. Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "Ryan O'Byrne player card". CornellHockeyDB.com. 2008-05-06. Retrieved 2008-09-09.
- "Cornell wins 11th ECACHL Championship with 3-1 win over Harvard". CornellBigRed.com. 2005-03-19. Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "Moulson, O'Byrne named in First-Team All-Ivy". CornellBigRed.com. 2006-03-01. Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "Moulson, O'Byrne capture All-ECACHL honours". CornellBigRed.com. 2006-03-16. Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "Canadiens sign O'Byrne to two-year deal". Montreal Canadiens. 2006-08-09. Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "Super-size Me". Montreal Canadiens. 2007-05-06. Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "Canadiens beat Bruins seventh consecutive time, stops three-game slide". CBS Sports. 2007-12-06. Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "Thornton, Campbell score big goals in Sharks' 6-4 win over Montreal". Yahoo! Sports. 2008-03-04. Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "O'Byrne inks three year deal". Montreal Canadiens. 2008-07-16. Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "O'Byrne's own goal costs Habs as they lose 4-3 in shootout to streaking Isles". National Hockey League. 2008-11-24. Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "O'Byrne Happy To Give Up The Famous 3". Times Colonist. Retrieved 2010-01-04.[dead link]
- Dater, Adrian (2010-11-12). "Avs defenseman O'Byrne brings size, hunger to improve". Denver Post. Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "Jones leads Avalanche past Blue Jackets 5-1". Yahoo! Sports. 2010-11-12. Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "Maple Leafs acquire O'Byrne from Avalanche for pick". The Sports Network. 2013-04-03. Retrieved 2013-04-03.
- Poltilove, Josh (2008-02-11). "Two hockey pros, One Former NBA player arrested at Tampa Bar". TBO.com. Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "O'Byrne arrested". Canada.com. 2008-02-11. Retrieved 2008-02-13.
- "Theft charges dropped against Habs' O'Byrne in Tampa nightclub affair". The Canadian Press. 2008-07-16. Retrieved 2008-07-16.[dead link]