Edmonton Oilers have acquired defenceman Garrett Stafford from the Washington Capitals in exchange for forward Dane Byers.
Undrafted, Stafford began his professional career with the Cleveland Barons, former AHL affiliate of the San Jose Sharks, after being signed by the California based NHL team in October of 2003. His first pro season ended with an ugly incident. On April 30, 2004, Stafford was playing for the Cleveland Barons against the Hamilton Bulldogs in the Calder Cup playoffs when he got into an altercation with Hamilton’s winger Alexander Perezhogin. Stafford cross-checked Perezhogin in the face resulting in them both falling to the ice. As they were getting up Stafford took another swing with his stick, this time making contact with the back of Perezhogin’s helmet. In response, Perezhogin swung his stick into Stafford’s face as he was getting up. The slash knocked Stafford unconscious resulting in a concussion and sending him into convulsions on the ice as well as causing severe facial wounds which required 20 stitches to repair. Since then, he has spent most of his career in the AHL with the Grand Rapids Griffins, San Antonio Rampage, Portland Pirates, Hamilton Bulldogs and most recently the Hershey Bears. The stay at home defenseman has put up some decent numbers with the Bears this season, scoring one goal and 20 assists in 48 games played.
Byers was signed to a one-year, 2-way contract by the Edmonton Oilers in July of 2012. Byers comes to Hershey from the Oklahoma City Barons where he has posted six goals, four assists and 144 penalty minutes in 58 games played. In eight professional seasons, Byers has appeared in a total of 443 AHL games with the Hartford Wolfpack, Springfield Falcons, San Antonio Rampage and Oklahoma City, putting up 106 goals and 248 points to go along with 934 penalty minutes. He was originally selected by the New York Rangers in the second round (48th overall) in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.
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