Aug 22, 2013, 11:43 PM EST
Really, the NHL has seen few – if any – specimens who resemble Big Buff. The Jets franchise’s recent track record of moves suggests that they’re happy to watch their core grow, yet some might wonder if the team would be wise to part ways with their hybrid defenseman-forward.
Let’s break down the factors at hand.
Breakdown is actually a useful phrase because some might worry that Byfuglien’s greatest asset – his mammoth size – might also be his greatest curse.
There’s no doubt that people wonder about his weight; in fact, his condition will almost certainly be a story – good or bad – once Jets training camp rolls around.
More seriously, he’s had some knee problems and other concerns, which is troubling since he’s already 28. While there are examples of players aging like wine, many only get worse with time (especially those with questionable fitness regimens).
Word snobs fuss about the over-use of the word unique, but it might be appropriate when it comes to Byfuglien.
With the possible exception of Brent Burns, not many players can switch from forward to defense (or vice versa) and make an All-Star team that following season.
Some wonder if Byfuglien’s defensive play is lacking, yet others find that he’s been passable (if not good) in that regard.
And, really, Byfuglien’s offensive value as a rover likely makes up the difference. While his booming shot is a few miles per hour short of Zdeno Chara‘s slapper, Byfuglien is often more daring when it comes to attacking the net and freelancing around the offensive zone.
It’s one thing to know when and where a scary shot is coming from, but what happens when that threat is more improvisational?
A tough call
In the grand scheme of things, it might come down to context.
The Jets could very well decide that he’s valuable, but the team might benefit more from a package that includes prospects and picks. At $5.2 million per season, he’s likely being paid properly, yet that might be just costly enough to prompt management to move on.
What do you think, though? Should the Jets stick with their big, unusual asset or sell him off to the highest bidder?
More Jets day at PHT
- TGIF: Five NHL games to watch this weekend 2
- Wounded Wing: Howard (MCL sprain) out 2-4 weeks 2
- Wild coach accuses Sharks of embellishment 61
- Lundqvist hooked after three first-period goals as Rangers’ woes continue 28
- Burke wants the Flames to be — yep, you guessed it — more ‘truculent’ 46
- Flames fire GM Jay Feaster 36
- Video: Projected rise in salary cap could have some players ‘licking their lips’ 22
- Discuss: Blackhawks score big on Rivalry Night on NBCSN 37
- Crosby: If I had to guess Thornton’s suspension, I’d say 10 games 85
- Cowen gets two-game suspension for hit on Girgensons 12
- Video: Penguins’ Orpik stretchered off ice; Bruins’ Thornton given match penalty (184)
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head (156)
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ (138)
- Pens put Orpik on IR (132)
- Orpik suffers from concussion, including memory loss (118)