The situation surrounding star defenseman Dustin Byfuglien and the Winnipeg Jets took a drastic turn this week when it was suddenly announced that Byfuglien and the Jets had mutually agreed to terminate the big blue liner's contract. It is very, very, rare to see a player of Byfuglien's calibur in the National Hockey League walk away from that kind of money and it was a moment that left many fans of the Winnipeg Jets in a state of absolute shock.
Although fans are likely still reeling from the news they can take some solace in the fact that this appears to have been a rather difficult decision for all parties involved, from the Jets organization to Dustin Byfuglien himself to the Byfuglien family as well. Following the announcement that Byfuglien would be parting ways with the team, Byfuglien's wife Emily Byfuglien took to social media and published what can only be described as a heartfelt message to the fans of the Jets and to the city of Winnipeg itself.
Here is the message she published via her Instagram:
After 8 years of playing for Winnipeg, this chapter of our life comes to a close
I have nothing but gratitude towards the Jets for an amazing 8 years in Winnipeg. What an awesome experience it has been. From having our first baby here, to now raising 3 kids in this much loved community. We have grown up together and as a family here, and I wouldn’t change that for the world. The support from Winnipeggers has been overwhelming. I appreciate all of you that have reached out to me with support and kindness.
No one can know for certain what their future may bring. I never thought for a second our time here would be cut short under these circumstances. The past 8 months have been the hardest of my life. I struggled to come to terms with the situation. I struggled as a wife and as a mother under the stress. I didn’t want any of it to be true. This has been the only life I’ve known for a long time, and I am beyond devastated to have to leave here. I love this city, and the people in it. I had the best 8 years of Dustin’s NHL career here in Winnipeg.
I am going to miss every second of Dustin playing here. I’ll miss these amazing girls who are some of my absolute best friends. I’ll miss the schools, activities, and sports for the kids. There is just something about Winnipeg that is different. People feel like, and treat you like family, and I’m so grateful to have experienced this.
I will always be a Winnipegger at heart. Thank you so much to this city and the Jets organization for everything.
Emily makes reference to something cutting the families time short in the city although she does not elaborate when she says " I never thought for a second our time here would be cut short under these circumstances. The past 8 months have been the hardest of my life. " Recently Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff hinted at mysterious motivations behind this move from Byfuglien and it really makes me wonder what may have happened to cause this entire fiasco in the first place.