29-Year-Old Right Wing – Free Agent
Byron Bitz Contract Information:
Signed a two-year deal (for $675,000 in 2009-10 and $700,000 in 2010-'11) with the Bruins in July of 2009.
Bitz was re-assigned to Chicago of the AHL on Tuesday, the Canucks' official site reports.
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Age is determined on October 1st of each season.
Byron Bitz: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Byron Bitz.
Bitz spent another season bouncing between the AHL and NHL in 2011-12, making just 10 appearances for the Canucks by seasonís end. He finished with four points (1 G, 3 A) while giving Vancouver extra forward depth. The 28-year old grinder is currently a free agent. No matter where he signs, Bitz will likely be on a two-way deal and spend time in both the minors and majors again in 2012-13.
Bitz missed the entire 2010-11 season after suffering a sport hernia in training camp. The Canucks still decided to take a chance on the 27-year-old by inking him to a two-way deal this summer. He could provide the Canucks with a much-needed physical presence with his large frame (6-foot-5, 215 pounds), but Bitz doesn't offer the necessary point production to make much of a fantasy impact.
Injuries are always a concern for Bitz, who came to Florida from Boston deep into last season. But when healthy, he effectively uses his 6-foot-5, 215-pound frame to use advantage, allowing him to deliver hits and control the puck. Those intangibles are great for the Panthers but nothing fantasy owners will get excited about.
Bitz, who initially looked like a short-term callup, surprised with his solid play last season, scoring four goals and three assists in 35 games. He will never be a big scorer, but his ability to protect the puck along with his strength along the boards is valued by the team. A modest boost in offensive production this coming season is a realistic expectation.