|Born:||July 21, 1984||Draft:||2003 Bruins, 107th Overall|
|Hometown:||Saskatoon, Saskatchewan||Position:||Right Wing|
|Known For:||NCAA (ECAC) Champion||Shoots:||Right|
|National Team:||Canada||Current Status:||Retired|
Byron Bitz (born July 21, 1984) is a former Canadian ice hockey player, having played his final year in the NHL with the Vancouver Canucks during the 2011-2012 season. Drafted 107th overall by the Boston Bruins in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, Bitz made his NHL debut during the 2008-09 season after finishing a full four-year cycle with Cornell University and one season with the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League (AHL). He split the year between the NHL and the minors, registering four goals and three assists in 35 games while in Boston, and added two points in five playoff games.
The following season, Bitz played in 45 games before the Bruins traded him and forward Craig Weller to the Florida Panthers for defenseman Dennis Seidenberg and the rights to Matt Bartkowski. He finished the year with the Panthers, playing in seven games and registering one goal and one assist. The following year, Bitz missed the entirety of the season due to a sports hernia injury. While he was set to return later in the year, complications with his recovery required him to have multiple surgeries in order to correct the problems, sidelining him for the duration of the season.
The Panthers did not offer him a qualifying deal the next year, making Bitz an unrestricted free agent. He signed with the Canucks on a one-year, two-way deal, but abdominal problems caused him to miss significant time. Upon his return, he was assigned to the Chicago Wolves of the AHL, but he was later called up and played in ten games, registering one goal and three assists. Without a contract, Bitz left the NHL and played one season in the Long Lake Hockey League (LLHL) with the Watrous Winterhawks. Bitz retired at the conclusion of the season after recording 18 points in 12 games.
Byron Bitz Statistics
- BCHL (Coastal) Rookie of the Year (2003)
- NCAA (ECAC) Champion (2005)
- NCAA (ECAC) Third All-Star Team (2007)