Apr 27, 2013, 4:48 PM EST
Since being traded by the Chicago Blackhawks and transitioning back to the blueline, Dustin Byfuglien has emerged as one of the league’s most productive defenseman from an offensive perspective.
But is that enough to warrant his $5,200,000 cap hit and leading role on the Winnipeg Jets? Winnipeg Free Press writer Gary Lawless doesn’t seem to think so. He argued that Byfuglien has become a roadblock for the team.
Here’s his case against Byfuglien:
There are all sorts of issues that add up to this result but Byfuglien is a major part of the formula that hasn’t produced.
The 28-year-old Minnesota native played in 43 games this season, scoring eight goals and 20 assists. Solid offensive numbers, but too often the production came at a cost. The Jets were among the worst defensive teams in the league, ranked 25th with 141 goals against.
Byfuglien, as one of the blue-line leaders in ice time and opportunity, wears much of that responsibility. He can take one’s breath away with a rush up ice but he can also produce great angst with his lack of defensive awareness.
Keeping him in such a key position no longer makes sense. It isn’t working.
There’s been talk about Byfuglien changing his game to be more balanced and less of a risk. It hasn’t materialized into a consistent reality.
His fitness issue was supposed to be addressed and resolved. Hasn’t happened. It may have gotten worse.
Lawless argued that Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff should trade Byfuglien, unless Cheveldayoff believes that the blueliner is on the brink of a breakthrough.
There’s bound to be a market for Byfuglien if Winnipeg does decide to shop him. Plenty of teams need a minutes-eating blueliner that can play a key role with the man advantage.
Of course, with that in mind, the Jets might keep Byfuglien off the market this summer.
Dec 7, 2013, 12:13 PM EST
Losing blue liners is not optimal.
Dec 7, 2013, 10:54 AM EST
It’s getting grumpy in Winnipeg.
Dec 7, 2013, 10:02 AM EST
That’s a big sigh of relief for Boston.
Dec 7, 2013, 9:15 AM EST
It’s all about the chances.
Dec 7, 2013, 12:15 AM EST
Jean-Sebastien Giguere remains undefeated.
Dec 6, 2013, 11:59 PM EST
Watch the video to decide for yourself.
Dec 6, 2013, 11:10 PM EST
Blackhawks have now lost three in a row.
Dec 6, 2013, 10:36 PM EST
Tough two days for San Jose.
Dec 6, 2013, 10:15 PM EST
Next summer, they’ll be talking about shrinking goalie sweaters.
Dec 6, 2013, 9:58 PM EST
Phoenix goes to Vancouver shorthanded.
Dec 6, 2013, 9:41 PM EST
Columbus dominated Minnesota 4-0 on Friday.
Dec 6, 2013, 9:02 PM EST
Recalled forward Zach Boychuk played Friday.
Dec 6, 2013, 8:28 PM EST
After 15 seasons and two Stanley Cup victories.
Dec 6, 2013, 7:55 PM EST
Worse yet, another high Tampa Bay draft pick delivered the blow.
Dec 6, 2013, 7:35 PM EST
According to Fox Sports Detroit.
Dec 6, 2013, 7:05 PM EST
Damaged defense in Dallas.
Dec 6, 2013, 6:31 PM EST
Meanwhile, Bryan Bickell might resume skating next week.
Dec 6, 2013, 5:45 PM EST
A roster shuffle is expected.
Dec 6, 2013, 5:13 PM EST
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane like where this is going.
Dec 6, 2013, 4:28 PM EST
In which we ask the question, does Team Canada need a player like Milan Lucic?
- Report: Salary cap ‘may be around’ $70 million next season 16
- TGIF: Five NHL games to watch this weekend 3
- Report: Laviolette a candidate to replace Capuano 20
- Sharks say Fleury was ‘shaky’ and ‘fighting it’ in 44-save victory 53
- Boychuk boarded by Pacioretty, taken off on stretcher (Update: has movement in extremities) 57
- Seguin (concussion) cleared to play tonight 0
- Bylsma: Sharks are NHL’s best, ‘with all due respect to Chicago’ 89
- Will the Rangers use a compliance buyout on Richards? 10
- Malkin (lower body) to miss tonight’s game versus Sharks 20
- Flyers’ Couturier: ‘We’re starting to believe in ourselves’ 60
- Bylsma: Sharks are NHL’s best, ‘with all due respect to Chicago’ (89)
- Flyers’ Couturier: ‘We’re starting to believe in ourselves’ (60)
- Boychuk boarded by Pacioretty, taken off on stretcher (Update: has movement in extremities) (57)
- Lehtonen shines, Roussel agitates as Stars beat ‘Hawks (53)
- Sharks say Fleury was ‘shaky’ and ‘fighting it’ in 44-save victory (53)