The New York Rangers have traded Wolf Pack captain Dane Byers to the Columbus Blue Jackets for forward Chad Kolarik. Kolarik appears to be a career AHL players having bounced between Springfield, Syracuse and the San Antonio Rampage.
This is CLEARLY a message being sent by the organization to a listless and underachieving team. If they will trade the captain, they will trade anyone.
Byers has been a good team-guy for the Wolf Pack. He played five games in 2005-2006 after his season with the Prince Albert Raiders ended. He joined the team in 2006-2007 and put 17 goals and 30 helpers in the net for 47 points in 78 games.
Byers improved in 2007-2008 when he put 23 goals and 23 assists on his ledger for 46 points but in 73 games. That season he got his first taste of the NHL getting into one game with the Blueshirts.
In 2008-2009 he blew out his knee just 9 games into the season and after putting up 4 goals and three assists. Byers came back for the playoffs tat year and played well in 6 games putting in 3g and an assist.
Last season he continued to improve posting 51 points in 74 games (25g, 26a).
Byers may best be remembered by New York Rangers fans for his being called up and literally arriving just as the game was about to start after his plane was delayed. He played in 5 games for the Rangers last season and scored his first NHL goal.
Dane Byers will ALWAYS be remembered among Wolf Pack fans for being one of the classiest players in team history and for always answering the bell when it came to answer for his teammates.
Chad Kolarik really hasn’t done much in the AHL. He had his best season in 2008-2009 when he tallied 20g and 30 a for 50 pts in 76 games. He’s played two games in the NHL last season with Columbus.
So far this season, the 5’11, 175 pound center from Pennsylvania has 4g and 6a for 10 points in 13 games.
This is clearly not a move to improve the team in terms of talent. It’s clearly a message move being sent to the team that anyone can be sent packing (pardon the pun).
Do not be remotely surprised if this is not the only move the team makes to shake things up here.
What will be worse still for the now former Wolf Pack captain is that he will be in the house as a member of the Springfield Falcons on Saturday night when the team plays their last game as the Wolf Pack. (Thank you to Gerry Cantlon for reminding us of that sad fact).
“Obviously when you go through a streak like this you know that changes are pretty much inevitable,” Dale Weise told Howlings. ”It’s a way to shake up the team and obviously to see a guy like Dane Byers go is rough. He’s been a team Captain for two years and he’s been here with me for three years and one of my really good friends. It’ll be tough to see him go.”
Weise would be one of the leading candidates, along with Wade Redden, to be named team captain in Byers place.
Here’s the official release:
New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has acquired forward Chad Kolarik from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for forward Dane Byers.
Kolarik, 24, has registered four goals and six assists for 10 points, along with 18 penalty minutes in 13 games with the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League (AHL) this season. He ranks third on Springfield in scoring with 10 points, is tied for second in assists and ranks fourth in goals. He also leads the team and ranks 14th in the AHL with 46 shots on goal, and is tied for the team lead and ninth in the league with three power play goals. Kolarik has registered three multi-point performances this season, including a two-goal effort in Springfield’s season opener, a 5-1 win, on October 8 at Providence. He recorded nine points (four goals, five assists) in nine games to begin the season, including a season-high, three-game scoring streak from October 22 vs. Portland to October 29 at Hartford (two goals, three assists over the span).
The 5-11, 195-pounder has skated in 165 career AHL contests with the Springfield Falcons, Syracuse Crunch and San Antonio Rampage, registering 50 goals and 60 assists for 110 points, along with 120 penalty minutes. He split the 2009-10 season between San Antonio and Syracuse, recording a career-high, 26 goals and tying his career-high in scoring with 50 points in 76 games. He also appeared in two games with the Columbus Blue Jackets last season, making his NHL debut on April 5, 2010 at St. Louis. In 2008-09, Kolarik established a career-high with 30 assists and 50 points in 76 games with San Antonio. He made his professional debut with San Antonio on April 16 in the 2008 Calder Cup Playoffs, and notched a hat trick in his next game two days later.
Prior to turning professional, Kolarik appeared in 163 career games over four seasons with the University of Michigan Wolverines of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA), registering 78 goals and 96 assists for 174 points, along with 131 penalty minutes. He helped the Wolverines capture the CCHA regular season and tournament titles, and led Michigan to NCAA Frozen Four as a senior in 2007-08. Kolarik was named a Second Team All-American, NCAA All-Regional Team (East) and All-CCHA First Team All-Star that season after registering career-highs with 30 goals, 56 points, seven game winning goals, four shorthanded goals, and a plus-27 rating in 39 games.
The Abington, Pennsylvania native was originally selected as Phoenix’s seventh round pick, 199th overall, in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.
Byers, 24, has registered three goals and six assists for nine points, along with 25 penalty minutes in 16 games with Hartford (AHL) this season. The Nipawin, Saskatchewan native was originally the Rangers’ second round choice, 48th overall, in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.