The Montreal Canadiens officially announced on Wednesday that forward Paul Byron would not travel with the team this week and remains under evaluation after he was knocked out last night in the game against the Florida Panthers.
Byron accepted to fight Panthers’ MacKenzie Weegar, who was still upset about the hit the Habs forward delivered to his head earlier this season. While Byron was suspended three games for the hit, Weegar felt it wasn’t enough.
And oh boy, did Byron pay… Weegar landed a huge uppercut to his jaw and Byron had no clue where he was. As the Florida player checked up on him, one of the linesmen called the trainer over and escorted Byron to the bench. The poor guy could barely stand up and needed the help of three team members to make it to the dressing room…
On Wednesday, Bryon’s agent J.P. Barry was not happy and questioned the code after his client was injured.
“This wasn’t a hockey fight,” Barry texted to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun. “Paul knew he had to deal with it then or likely later. Paul probably gives up five inches and 50 pounds to a very tough player - how is this the code?”
“Player Safety already gave Paul three games for an improper check and now the ‘code’ gets to give him several more? …
“This exact situation is Exhibit A for re-examining our current rules for fighting. If the fight is patently retribution for something that happened long before this game was ever played, how is that allowed to occur without being addressed?
“These are the people that believe in the old ‘code,’” Barry continued. “It’s time for Player Safety to be the new ‘code.’ What really matters is eliminating avoidable concussions wherever we can.”
After the game, Weegar revealed to reported that he asked Byron whether he wanted to fight and the Canadiens forward said yes. He however never meant to hurt him.
But he did punch him right in the face, so … However, it seems like Bryon’s agent’s comments are a bit ridiculous. Wouldn’t you agree?