With the official termination of Dustin Byfuglien's contract with the Winnipeg Jets today comes word of just how much money the 34-year-old defenceman walked away from in the agreement. According to Frank Seravalli of TSN, Byfuglien was willing to part with millions of dollars in order to get out of his contract with the team.
"Dustin Byfuglien did not receive any money from [the Jets] as part of agreeing to resolve his grievance and terminate his contract," the Insider posted to Twitter. "He walked away from $14 million due to him over this season and next."
Byfuglien had been set to make $7.6 million this season and next as part of a five year deal he signed with Winnipeg in 2016. It seems very clear the relationship between player and team had soured greatly if Byfuglien was willing to let that go just to get out of his contract. Yes, he's made around $60 million over the course of his career, but $14 million is still a lot of money.
Byfuglien was suspended after not showing up for training camp in September of 2019. At the time, it was revealed that he was taking some time off to contemplate his hockey future. He later underwent surgery to repair an ankle issue that he claimed was suffered during the previous season and aggravated during the playoffs. His camp wanted to the Jets to pay for the procedure and subsequent rehab. The team claimed he had been given a clean bill of health by doctors in the offseason. That is when the grievance was filed. Today's termination of his contract also put an end to his grievance filed through the NHL Players' Association.
The interesting part now will be to see if he signs elsewhere either before or once hockey resumes. With the contract termination, Byfuglien is a free agent.