A former Port Alberni resident who played in the NHL has died.
Buffalonews.com reported that former player Paul Cyr, 48, died of heart failure brought on by complications related to diabetes. Cyr died on May 12.
Cyr grew up and played minor hockey in Port Alberni. He played for the Nanaimo Clippers in 1979-1980 then for the Victoria Cougars from 1980-82. In his best year (1981) in Victoria he scored 52 goals and 56 assists for 108 points.
Cyr was also a member of the 1982 team that helped Canada win a gold medal in the World Junior Hockey Tournament in Minnesota.
The Buffalo Sabres drafted Cyr ninth overall in the 1982 NHL entry draft after taking defenseman Phil Housley and forward Dave Andrewchuck earlier in the same round.
Cyr played for the Sabres for six seasons, notching 51 points in his best year (1985).
In 1987, he was traded to the New York Rangers for Mike Donnelly and a draft choice that the Sabres used to select Alexander Mogilny.
Cyr spent two seasons with New York before signing as a free agent with the Hartford Whalers in 1990. He retired after playing with the Whalers’ farm team the Springfield Indians in 1993, and amassed a professional record of 470 games over nine seasons, scoring 101 goals and 140 assists.
A willing fighter, Cyr’s opponents included Ed Hospodar, Tony Twist, Wendel Clark, Cam Neely and Brian Sutter.
Cyr was shot in the stomach during a robbery while vacationing in the Dominican Republic in 1987. “I wish I was remembered for being a 50-goal scorer rather than getting shot by a guy yelling Spanish and demanding pesos,” Cyr is quoted as saying.
Cyr was a talented carpenter who rebuilt his home in Alberni after it burned down. He was also a member of the construction crew that built the Hupacasath House of Gathering.
According to his obituary from Nakusp, B.C., Cyr spent the last years of his life in Naksup with his wife and stepchildren where they operated a chalet.
Cyr is survived by his mother, sisters, brothers as well as a host of nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his father Gerard.