It all started when Dustin Byfuglien didn’t report to training camp two months ago and it was reported then that he was contemplating his playing future. The situation for the Winnipeg Jets has evolved to something way more complicate as the veteran player considers contesting his suspension.
Things took a significant turn when the veteran defenseman elected to have surgery to repair his ankle. Byfuglien’s ankle was injured on two separate occasions last season. He is believed to have played injured, but is now in remission but not getting paid by the Jets, who suspended him without pay at the start of the campaign to be cap compliant and be able to improve the roster with Byfuglien’s absence.
A grievance is expected to be submitted by the NHLPA seeing that they believe the issues with his ankle date back to last season when the injuries first occurred and we can expect a significant mess coming from this. However, the deadline is so close that a decision should be imminent.
Here is what Elliotte Friedman has to say on this decision in his latest 31 Thoughts column on Sportsnet:
“The Jets suspended Dustin Byfuglien on Sept. 21. Normally, grievances must be filed within 60 days. That would put us at today: Wed., Nov. 20. However, one source indicated that the clock might not have started ticking on that specific date (weekend? Not officially paid yet? I’m not sure). Whatever the case, a decision on whether or not to contest Byfuglien’s suspension is coming soon.”
While Friedman isn’t aware if Byfuglien will file and what it will mean for his future with the team and in the NHL, it seems like we are getting closer than ever to finally get some answers.