Report: Byfuglien linked to three teams before his contract with the Jets is even terminated

Straight from NHL insider Elliotte Friedman.

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It appears that Winnipeg Jets fans may FINALLY be getting some resolution on the Dustin Byfuglien situation this week. 

Of course, Byfuglien had been suspended by the Jets for failing to report to training camp back in September. It was reported that Byfuglilen wasn’t sure if he wanted to play and was taking his time in making a decision. 

Then, TSN insider Bob McKenzie reported that Byfuglien had undergone ankle surgery without the team’s consent. This is where things get interesting…

The team feels that Byfuglien was deemed fit to play and did not disclose his ankle injuries. At the beginning of this current season, Byfuglien tried to skate prior to training camp, but was unable due to injury. In effect, Big Buff is sticking to his guns and the team is trying to call his bluff. Laying in the balance are millions and millions of dollars. 

Crazy. Suffice it to say, it sounds like the marriage between Big Buff and the Jets is off. And, in fact, McKenzie’s TSN colleague Frank Seravalli is reporting as much.

Check it out:

From Seravalli’s article for TSN:

The Jets and defenceman Dustin Byfuglien are working toward a mutual contract termination over the next several days, according to multiple sources, which would formally end his suspension and bring to a close the grievance Byfuglien filed in November.

So, what happens once Byfuglien and the Jets officially part ways?

If executed, the contract termination would also make Byfuglien an unrestricted free agent, free to resume his career with any team of his choosing. That could be next week, next season or never again. Byfuglien’s on-ice future remains very much in doubt.

But here’s the catch… Big Buff hasn’t even been on wheels since the summer.

Byfuglien, 34, has not resumed skating since undergoing ankle surgery in late October. He reportedly began rehabbing the injury in consultation with the Jets in mid-December, but hasn’t progressed to the next step in the process.

One thing’s for sure, whatever Byfuglien’s next step is, he won’t make it hastily. If he does return to the NHL, where does he end up? NHL insider Elliotte Friedman links Byfuglien to three teams, the Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers and Vegas Golden Knights, in his latest 31 Thoughts article for Sportsnet.

Check it out:

Byfuglien has yet to resume skating, so it is extremely unlikely he returns this season. But, if he has any desire to play in the future, there’s going to be interest. There are obvious connections in Chicago (old organization), Florida (old coach) and Vegas (Kelly McCrimmon ran Brandon, where Byfuglien began his WHL career). Even teams without such clear relationships would wish to talk to him, too. There was a time during this process when the Jets wanted him to return with them, but the relationship soured as this continued. He’s a unique personality — I say that with respect — and there’s no certainty about what he’ll do.

Stay tuned, Jets fans. Things could get even more interesting with respect to Byfuglien.