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Paul Byron clears waivers, assigned to taxi squad

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No team decided to take on Byron’s $3.4-million contract.

NHL: FEB 06 Canadiens at Senators Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Paul Byron was placed on waivers yesterday as the Montreal Canadiens attempted to move him to the taxi squad. The move paid off, as Byron cleared waivers on Monday.

Byron’s was originally claimed by the Canadiens just ahead of the 2015-16 season. Noted for his speed and infamous for his lack of finish, he netted two short-handed goals in his first three games in Montreal, and went on to post 20-goal seasons in the next two campaigns. The goals had begun to dry up in recent years, with just four in 29 games a season ago, and none in 14 games in 2020-21.

Considering last year was the first of a four-year extension at a $3.4-million cap hit, he has become an expensive bottom-six forward. With the added depth on the wings and cheaper options like Corey Perry and Michael Frolik fighting for spots, the situation for Byron got more difficult.

The Canadiens now have the flexibility to bury $1.075 million of his cap hit when he is not on the NHL roster, allowing for additional flexibility on off days and days he’s not in the lineup.