Multiple news outlets in British Columbia are reporting that former Buffalo Sabres forward Paul Cyr has died at the age of 48. The Victoria Times-Colonist
says that heart failure was the cause of Cyr’s death, while CHEK-TV News
in Victoria said that Cyr suffered a heart attack but later died in the hospital because of diabetes-related complications.
A native of Port Alberni, BC, Cyr was drafted ninth overall by Buffalo in the 1982 Entry Draft, the same first round that also produced future Sabres stars Phil Housley (sixth overall) and Dave Andreychuk (16th). A small, but rugged forward, Cyr came to Buffalo following a stellar junior career with the WHL’s Victoria Cougars. In his final season with the Cougars, Cyr scored 52 goals and 108 points, while also amassing 167 penalty minutes. That same season, Cyr had 10 points for Team Canada as they won their first-ever gold medal at the World Junior Championship.
The 5-foot-10, 180-pound winger started the 1982-83 season with the Sabres, scoring his first career goal as an 18-year-old in his NHL debut against the Quebec Nordiques on October 6, 1982. Cyr was returned to his junior team early in the season, but returned to Buffalo for good after representing Canada at the 1983 World Junior Championship. The highlight of Cyr’s rookie season was a natural hat trick in Boston on March 3, 1983. Buffalo trailed 2-0 until Cyr scored three straight goals in less than five minutes against goaltender Pete Peeters.
Cyr would go on to play six seasons in Buffalo from 1982-87, collecting 196 points (85+111) and 454 PIMs in 342 games. His best NHL season came in 1985-86 when he posted 51 points (20+31) and 120 PIMs in 71 games for the Sabres.
Cyr was traded to the New York Rangers on December 31, 1987, in a deal that would ultimately land Alexander Mogilny in Buffalo. The Sabres sent Cyr and a 10th-round pick in the 1988 Entry Draft to New York for Mike Donnelly and the Rangers’ fifth-round pick in 1988. Six months later, Buffalo used that fifth-round pick to select Mogilny 89th overall in the 1988 Draft.
Cyr finished his nine-year NHL career with the Rangers and Hartford, totaling 241 points (101+140) and 623 PIMs in 470 games. His last NHL season was in 1991-92 with the Whalers.