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Former Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien unlikely to play again

September 29, 2020, 9:37 AM ET [61 Comments]
Anthony Travalgia
Winnipeg Jets Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
On Saturday’s Hockey Night in Canada telecast during Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman discussed the status of former Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien.

“It’s very unlikely Dustin Byfuglien’s going to play,” Friedman said.

The situation with Byfuglien in Winnipeg got messy at the end as the veteran appeared in just 42 games for the Jets in 2018-19.

According to reports, the issues began when on the eve of training camp last September, Byfuglien notified the team he had no interest in playing in the 2019-20 season. Byfuglien failed to report to Jets training camp, forcing the team to suspend him.

A few weeks later, Byfuglien’s agent told the Jets he had a change of heart and wanted to play; however, he would need surgery on an injured ankle. He would have his ankle repaired later that month.

Finally, in April, after months of litigation and back and forth between the two parties, Byfuglien and the Jets agreed to terminate the remainder of his contract. At the time, Byfuglien had $14M left on his contract.

Friedman also goes on to say that teams have checked in to see if Byfuglien still has any interest in a return to the game.

“Teams have asked. One of the teams that have asked is the Minnesota Wild. They figured because Byfuglien obviously has a lot of ties to Minnesota he’d want to play there and they could use him,” Friedman said.

“They’re probably the only team that has a chance, but I checked with Byfuglien’s agent, Ben Hankinson, and he said it’s doubtful that Byfuglien will play again, a shame because his personality would be great.”

If this truly is the end for Byfuglien, he closes the book on what was a great career. In 14 seasons between the Blackhawks, Thrashers, and Jets, Byfuglien finishes his career with 177 goals, 348 assists and 525 points across 869 career games.
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