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Calgary Flames, Paul Byron avoid arbitration, settle for one-year, $900K deal

The speedy little forward who gets a lot of breakaways will be back at it for another year.

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The Calgary Flames had three players file for arbitration. Of the three, Lance Bouma went through with it, but re-signed shortly after, and Josh Jooris avoided it entirely. That just left Paul Byron, whose arbitration date was scheduled for July 30.

That will not come to pass, as the Flames have re-signed Byron to a one-year, $900K deal. He will become an unrestricted free agent after this season.

Coming off of a one-year, $600K contract, the $900K figure is a substantial raise for Byron: but it's one that's well earned. Byron has long been one of the Flames' unheralded players, able to fit in anywhere throughout the lineup and make his linemates better.

Ideally, you want him in your bottom six, but he can fill in on the top six in a pinch: he played with Sean Monahan for nearly 130 even strength minutes over this past regular season, after all. He made him better, too, boosting Monahan from a 45.1% CF to 50.5%, despite Monahan being more sheltered without him, starting more often in the offensive zone.

The 26-year-old winger has a lot to show that isn't always reflected in the most rudimentary stats. With his +2.31% CF rel, he's one of the better Flames to have on the ice, and that's with his -5.30 ZSO% rel. In short: he takes some heavier minutes for the Flames, and spins them into something positive for the team despite that.

So yes, even though Byron is probably most noted for constantly getting breakaways and then failing to convert them, he's a major asset for the Flames. Think of him as the perfect rover throughout the lineup: no matter what position you slot him in, he's going to help his team. He still scored six goals and 19 points over 57 games last season, including, yes, a breakaway goal:

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It's easy to see Byron as redundant on the Flames, especially with the number of forwards they have fighting for spots. But he does everything: he generates chances, he's a frequent forward on the penalty kill, and he isn't afraid to lay out the body. Byron on a line with Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik could be an incredible shutdown line.

All that for just $900K is a solid depth deal. He makes the Flames better every time he steps on the ice, and this is a very well-earned raise that comes at an affordable cap hit for his team.

Micheal Ferland is the only restricted free agent the Flames have left to re-sign. He did not file for arbitration, so there is no deadline for his next contract.