The Winnipeg Jets will be without one of their very best players this evening.
According to a shocking report from the NHL Network on Sirius/XM Satelitte Radio, Winnipeg's Jets head coach Paul Marice has made veteran defenseman Dustin Byfuglien a healthy scratch for tonight's game against the Edmonton Oilers.
Byfuglien hadn't skated for the past several days, however this report clearly indicates that Byfuglien is a health scratch this evening, and not injured, which raises a ton of questions.
It's a shocking report, and one has to wonder if Byfuglien simply needed more time to recover, which seems unlikely, or if Maurice is sending a message to his veteran defenseman.
More to come.
Update: We now have conflicting reports. TSN Insider Darren Dreger is reporting that Byfuglien is in fact hurt, not healthy, and is listed as day to day.
Obviously the NHL Network has sources directly within the NHL, however Dreger is known to have a very close relationship with Jets general manager Kevan Cheveldayoff. We're inclined to side with Dreger until more information comes out.
Update: The NHL Network has now deleted it's initial report, this would appear to be a retraction.