This afternoon the Canucks signed 6,5 winger Byron Bitz; the former Bruin, Panther and Cornell Big Red’s deal is two-way, one year contract. You can check out the official media release here.
Strangely enough, the teams official roster on the website was updated before the media release came through. Bitz appeared in 52 games in 2009/2010 for the Bruins and Panthers and was traded for Dennis Seidenberg, in what can only be described as a Dale Tallon special. He missed the entire 2010/11 campaign with a sports-hernia. In 87 career NHL games Bitz has 18 points off nine goals and nine assists.
Over his career Bitz has been a pretty run of the mill fourth liner, though his possession stats, and scoring rate indicate some potential upside. He also draws more penalties than he takes, which, is something I (unlike Steve Tambellini) like to see from a hulking fourth line winger. If he’s in shape and healthy he’ll provide the Canucks with the size they require and hopefully slightly better hands than the likes of Tanner Glass. He joins Duco, Pinozotto and Oreskovich in the battle at camp for a fourth line wing spot, and it’s a pretty safe bet that he’ll see time in both the AHL and the NHL this season.
Bonus: Byron Bitz has, on occasion, been known to Vlog (stick-tap to Sarah Connors). Check it out: