Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/23/13
That night in Los Angeles, the Calgary Flames, giddy after the late-game dramatics, invited their fathers into the dressing room. It turned into quite a touching scene. But over in the far corner, on his own, sat one of the heroes. Paul Byron, up from Abbotsford, had not joined the team in time to have his dad participate in the Flames’ fathers weekend, Nov. 29 and 30. Oh, Randy Byron still enjoyed his boy’s peppy appearance — which included a short-handed helper in the 2-1 win — but he did it from three time zones away. “Too bad it was such short notice,” Byron says now, “because I know he would have loved to go on that trip.” Nor will dad and son get to rehash the highlights over turkey and trimmings. Byron, because he remains a Flames member in good standing, is cancelling a prearranged trip back to Ottawa. Not that there’s any moaning about another snag of timing. “Obviously, it’s a good reason not to go home for Christmas,” says Byron, smiling. “Everyone’s real happy about it.” At this point, even spending the holidays in a downtown hotel cannot dampen the young man’s spirits. Byron is in the National Hockey League, after all, and his young family — fiancée Sarah and nine-month-old daughter Elianna — is joining him here for the three-day break. So, you see, everything can work out. For this, the 24-year-old points to his new-found maturity. “Definitely,” says Byron. “Last year was pretty big for me in terms of life. Got engaged. Had a child. It definitely puts perspective in your life. Suddenly, you’re just not playing for yourself — you’re playing for your family and you want to provide for them.
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