Giants star Bowen Byram making NHL debut for Colorado Avalanche

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Hockey people have been talking about Bowen Byram for some time. Michael Dyck, the Giants’ head coach, first connected with him when Byram was in novice hockey more than a decade ago and remained in touch. Dyck tells a tale about helping out coaching with the WHL’s Kootenay Ice seven seasons back, getting the OK to bring a 12-year-old Byram to practice one day in Cranbrook and Ice players raving about how good Byram was even then.

All those steps, and others much more monotonous, are bound to be conversation pieces when Byram’s mom, dad Shawn and sister Jamie, 22, talk about Thursday’s news.

“It was more about nerves for me for his first WHL game,” Stacey said, pointing to that Oct 14, 2016 match-up in Lethbridge when Bowen was an underage call-up for the Giants. “This is more about excitement. This is more about the realization of a dream.

“It has been impacting me more than I’d like to admit, though. We’ve thought that it was close for awhile.”

‘This is more about the realization of a dream,’ mom Stacey Byram (far left, with daughter Jamie, son Bowen and husband Shawn) says of Bowen’s National Hockey League debut with the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday. Photo by Courtesy, Byram family

They do have some experience in this. Shawn was a big, bruising winger for three seasons in the WHL, and made his NHL debut on Feb. 24, 1991, when he suited up for the New York Islanders against the Philadelphia Flyers. He played another three games with the Islanders that campaign and then one in 1991-92 with the Chicago Blackhawks. Shawn Byram spent 11 seasons after that playing minor pro and in Europe.

Dyck, a defencemen in his WHL days, played against the elder Byram there. That’s where that tie comes from.

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