According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien left the team just prior to the beginning of training camp last week to contemplate his future in the NHL. The Jets or Ben Hankinson, Byfuglien’s agent, have yet to respond to his comment request.
Dustin Byfuglien, currently on personal leave from WPG, is believed to be using the time to ponder his NHL future. I’m not saying Byfuglien is retiring; I’m not saying he’s coming back to play. Only that he’s contemplating his options and there’s no timetable for a decision.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) September 18, 2019
Jets head coach Paul Maurice said the reason why Byfuglien left is nothing “sinister” and that his and his family’s health was fine.
TSN’s Frank Seravalli added that the Jets are willing to let the 34-year old, who has two years left on his current contract that carries a $7.6 million cap hit, take all the time necessary to make his decision.
Losing their top defenseman would be a devastating blow for the Jets after they lost defensemen Jacob Trouba (traded to New York Rangers), Ben Chiarot (signed a three-year contract with Montreal Canadiens), and Tyler Myers (signed a five-year contract with the Vancouver Canucks) over the offseason. While he only played in 42 games last season, Byfuglien led all Jets defenseman in points-per-game (.738) and the team in average time on ice per game (24:22).
By Harrison Brown