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With Photos by Kasey Eriksen (ISN)

Victoria Grizzlies_NewSeptember 19, 2012, Victoria, BC - The Victoria Grizzlies Hockey Club is pleased to announce the appointment of Colorado Avalanche defenseman Ryan O'Byrne as the team's Assistant Coach.

O'Byrne played under Grizzlies Head Coach and General Manager Bill Bestwick during his time in the BCHL and was a member of the Grizzlies franchise from 2001-2003. He attended Cornell University in the NCAA and has played in over 265 NHL Games with the Montreal Canadiens and the Colorado Avalanche. O'Byrne played his minor hockey locally.

"Our players will benefit greatly by having Ryan on the ice and on the bench, as an NHL defenseman, currently in the prime of his career, he will be a great role-model and teacher," said Bestwick.

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Grizzlies Head Coach Bill Bestwick (right) introduces Ryan O'Byrne to the media Wednesday (Photo: Kasey Eriksen)

"From my own experience in the BCHL, I know what a pivotal time it can be in a player's development," said O'Byrne. "I am excited to be involved and do what I can to help the next generation of Grizzlies as they pursue their hockey goals."

O'Byrne will not receive remuneration from the team, however the Grizzlies are pleased to be making a donation to the Ryan O'Byrne Youth Sports Society. Earlier this summer the society's Ryan O'Byrne Charity Camp raised $25,123 for KidsSport Victoria, an organization that pays the sports registration and equipment fees for children whose parents can't afford them.

O'Byrne is also a member of the Grizzlies Alumni Advisory Board. Members provide their input and comments on a wide range of initiatives that help set the Victoria Grizzlies apart from other junior programs. Board members have regular meetings and opportunities throughout the year to participate and provide input to the Grizzlies owners, management, coaches, staff, volunteers and players.

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Ryan O'Byrne addresses the media Wednesday (Photo: Kasey Eriksen)

O'Byrne will be on the bench for the next Victoria Grizzlies home game on Saturday, Sept. 29 at 7:15 p.m. against the Coquitlam Express.

For information on season ticket packages and game day tickets, visit www.victoriagrizzlies.com or call 250-385-1555.

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