Yesterday on the 31 Thoughts podcast Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman were chatting about the Dustin Byfuglien situation. Quite a bit of this has already been said this week by the various insiders so some is simply reiterating points (i.e. 1-4). But since folks want updates on the latest news regarding 33 here you go:
1) Greater clarity on why the Jets are being quiet and that is because NHL has told them to be.
2) This is now an NHL vs NHLPA situation.
3) League is determined to fight this as much as they can because for them the season-ending physical is a big deal. If you are pronounced as fit to play and if the league was to lose the sanctity of that, it would be a big loss. Could open league to litigation.
4) On the flip side the NHLPA says “he’s injured, it’s a hockey injury” so they are going to fight on behalf of their player.
Marek asked at the end of all of this (whatever that looks like) what will it mean for the relationship between the two sides:
5) “I believe the Jets want Byfuglien to play for them.”
6) “I think the Jets are frustrated. I think they’re disappointed but I don’t know if they’re mad at him. I don’t know that. I think they want him to play for them. They realize they’re a better team with him. Like I said, they were close to him, he was a big part of their leadership group, he was an assistant captain. I think the Jets, more than anyone else, understand that’s Dustin being Dustin, like Buff being Buff. He is his own man and I actually really respect that. He’s his own guy. I think any other player, Jeff might have gone back and said OK I’ll go for my physical and I’ll just do rehab and collect my paycheque and he just didn’t want to. I think he was leaning towards retiring and that’s kinda why we are where we are. I don’t know how Byfuglien feels. Byfuglien hasn’t talked. I don’t know if he will talk. Does he look at this as, I busted myself for this team and this is what’s happening and he can’t separate the battle with the team and the battle with the NHL. I don’t know. I’ve heard rumours that he’s taking this personally but I don’t know if that’s true. I also heard a rumour that he won $1,500.00 in a Sioux North fishing derby and I went online to check the results and I couldn’t find his name in there. I think there’s a lot we don’t know here.”
Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman on Byfuglien via 31 Thoughts Podcast
You can check out the full 31 Thoughts Podcast here.
I also appear on the Illegal Curve Hockey Show every Saturday on TSN 1290 Winnipeg starting at 9 am.
And I occasionally jump in the play-by-play booth at Bell MTS Place to provide colour analysis during Manitoba Moose games.
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