Paul Cyr

Paul Cyr was one of three highly celebrated 1982 first round draft picks by Scotty Bowman and the Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres drafted two of their best players in team history that year - Phil Housley 6th overall and Dave Andreychuk 16th overall. Selected 9th overall was a fantastic junior player from Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

Born in Port Alberni, B.C., Cyr gained prominence as a high scoring left wing with the WHL's Victoria Cougars from 1980 through 1982. He scored 109 goals in 142 games, as well as excelling in two World Junior championships and a Memorial Cup appearance

Cyr would never come close to achieving the offensive statistics of Housley or Andreychuk, but nonetheless contributed nicely to the Sabres for parts of six seasons. He never scored more than 22 goals or 51 points in a season, he thrived as a good role player. He was a good skater with a lot of speed, which was typical of Buffalo forwards in the mid-1980s. He used that speed and a willingness to play a physical game despite his lack of size to become a decent checking winger. He also would evolve into a penalty killing role.

Cyr's career would be ended early due to a couple of serious injuries. One was an extremely odd injury. While vacationing in the Dominican Republic in the summer of 1987 he was an innocent bystander in a botched robbery attempt. Paul was actually shot by the villains. The bullet penetrated his abdomen but was not life threatening. Surprisingly he missed only 17 games because of that injury.

Later in that 1987-88 season Cyr was traded to the New York Rangers in exchange for a similar winger in Mike Donnelly and a 5th round draft pick. That draft pick turned out to be the jewel of the trade, as it was used to select future superstar Alexander Mogilny.

Cyr's time in New York was forgettable. He got into only 41 games over three years as he had to recuperate from major knee surgery.

Cyr persevered and resurfaced in the NHL in 1990-91 when he signed as a free agent with the Hartford Whalers. He made a triumphant return by playing in 70 of the Sabres 80 games, and scored 12 goals and 25 points. Not only did he return to NHL, but he returned as the same player he was before all the injury problems. He played with some nice grit and earned 107 minutes in penalties.

Cyr's fairytale comeback ended during the 1991-92 season. After going scoreless in 17 games he was demoted to the minor leagues where he would play until his retirement in 1993.

Paul retired from the NHL with 101 goals and 241 points in 470 contests. He added 4 goals and 10 points in 24 playoff games.


Anonymous,  8:49 PM  

RIP Paul Cyr.

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