First NHL Taste Leads to Extended Stay with Bruins

Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins, entering their 18th season in the American Hockey League, announced that the National Hockey League's Boston Bruins have signed forward Byron Bitz to a multi-year contract. Per club policy, terms of the deal will not be disclosed.

Bitz, 24, split the 2008-09 season between Boston and Providence. The right wing began his second season with the P-Bruins, totaling 10 points (3g, 7a) and 68 penalty minutes in 37 games before earning a call-up to the big club on January 10. Bitz finished with seven points (4g, 3a) and 18 PIM in 35 regular season contests for Boston, adding two points (g, a) in five playoff games.

Bitz made his NHL debut for Boston on January 10 against the Carolina Hurricanes, earning his first NHL point with an assist in a 5-1 win at the TD Banknorth Garden. Nearly one month later on February 7, Bitz recorded his first NHL goal versus the Philadelphia Flyers. His second career two-goal game and first at the NHL level again occurred at home on February 24 at the expense of the Florida Panthers. Bitz later played in his first career NHL postseason game on April 20 at the Montreal Canadiens, tallying an assist for his first NHL playoff point. Bitz's first NHL playoff goal came in the following round against Carolina on May 14 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Bitz tallied 27 points (13g, 14a) in 61 games as a rookie for the P-Bruins in 2007-08, twice putting together three-game scoring runs. Bitz also appeared in 10 playoff contests for Providence a year ago, recording a goal and an assist. Before turning pro, Bitz played four seasons for the Cornell University Big Red, captaining the team as a senior and graduating in 2007 with a degree in business. The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, native registered 88 points (28g, 60a) and 155 PIM in 124 collegiate games for Cornell.

Bitz was drafted by Boston 107th overall in round four of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.

To purchase tickets for the 2009-10 season or for more information, call the Providence Bruins ticket office at (401) 273-5000 or log on to the team website at