Byron's agent questions 'code' after Canadiens forward's injury in fight
J.P. Barry is not happy about his client getting hurt in a seemingly unnecessary scuffle.
Byron was injured in a fight with Florida Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar on Tuesday night. The bout was apparently Weegar's response to Byron's high hit on him in January, which drew a three-game suspension.
"This wasn't a hockey fight," Barry texted to The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun. "Paul knew he had to deal with it then or likely later. Paul probably gives up five inches and 50 pounds to a very tough player - how is this the code?"
Barry added, "Player Safety already gave Paul three games for an improper check and now the 'code' gets to give him several more? ...
"This exact situation is Exhibit A for re-examining our current rules for fighting. If the fight is patently retribution for something that happened long before this game was ever played, how is that allowed to occur without being addressed?
The agent said he expected many others to praise Byron as a "warrior" who "answered the bell."
"These are the people that believe in the old 'code,'" Barry continued. "It's time for Player Safety to be the new 'code.' What really matters is eliminating avoidable concussions wherever we can."
Byron struggled to skate off the ice after the fight and didn't return to the game.
Weegar asked Byron whether he wanted to fight and the Canadiens forward said yes, the Panthers blue-liner told La Presse's Richard Labbe postgame.
Byron won't play on Thursday against the Columbus Blue Jackets and he'll be evaluated on a daily basis, his club announced Wednesday.