A few days ago, Ryan O’Byrne informed the world of his plans for the lockout via his twitter account. O’Byrne will be staying in his home town of Victoria, British Columbia, and serving as an assistant coach for the Victoria Grizzlies. The Grizzlies are a junior team, and in their statement, they made it clear that O’Byrne will only serve for the duration of the lockout (aka if negotiations miraculously resumed tomorrow and the season started on time, O’Byrne would be uninhibited to serve out his contract with the Avalanche. I’m not surprised to see O’Byrne go the coaching route, for a couple of reasons. First, as a coach he is unlikely to be injured (jeapardizing any chance of playing in an NHL season this year, and putting himself in a potentially sticky insurance situation). Second, O’Byrne once said that one of the most important things to take care of whilst playing hockey, is trying to set yourself up for a successful career once hockey is done. O’Byrne has already done some work with the NHL network as a playoff analyst, and this coaching position is only going to widen his options (and contacts) post playing. Also, O’Byrne obviously enjoys teaching kids, as he hosts a camp for kids during the summer.
Another piece of news reguarding Avalanche players and their lockout plans comes from the Gabriel Landeskog camp. Landeskog will NOT be wearing a Lake Erie Monsters uniform at any point this season. Some people were taken by surprise when they heard this, but I wasn’t. The Avalanche only reassigned a few players (who would have started the season in Lake Erie anyways). While other teams reassigned many players, the Avalanche were careful to avoid this. I don’t know what the thinking is behind this move (or lack of one), but it made it clear to me that the team was unlikely to send it’s newly named captain (and reigning leading goal scorer) to the AHL. I think it’s a shame, but that’s all I’ll say on the matter until I learn more.