The Canadiens have traded defenseman Ryan O’Byrne to the Colorado Avalanche in return for junior prospect Michaël Bournival, a left wing on the Shawinigan Cataractes of the QMJHL..

With the emergence of off-season free agent signing Alexandre Picard, O’Byrne had found himself relegated to eighth among the team’s defensemen and, as a result he became a healthy scratch the last twelve games.  

O’Byrne was under a one-way contract that called for 942-thousand dollars. The Habs are now 1.562 million dollars under the salary cap.  That figure could increase to over 2.2 million should the team elect to send forward Dustin Boyd to Hamilton.  Boyd, who’s contract calls for 650-thousand dollars this season, cleared waivers yesterday but remains in Montreal. 

Michael Bournival - Left Wing   Shawinigan CataractesThe 18 year old Bournival is playing for the Shawinigan Cataracts of the QMJHL this season. In 17 games, the 6’0” 187 pound Bournival has 24 points (10 goals and 14 assists) and is plus-9.

Bournival, a left wing who can also play centre, was the Avalanche’s third choice (71st overall) in this year’s NHL entry draft after scoring 24 goals and 38 assists in 58 games with Shawinigan last season.  Bournival had two goals and three points in six games for Canada during  the 2010 IIHF World U18 Championship.As a junior Bournival is noted for his on-ice work ethic, a very good shot and outstanding physical fitness.  During the NHL Combine in May he tested number one in pushups.  (see video below)

The Avalanche have a league-high ten players on their injury list at the moment including defensemen Adam Foote, Kyle Quincey and Kyle Cumiskey, all sidelined by concussions.  Hence, the need to make this deal.

Video – Bournival tested at NHL Combine – May 2010