It has been a wild couple of days here in Winnipeg with the news about Dustin Byfuglien and the Winnipeg Jets working towards a mutual termination of contract as first reported by TSN’s Frank Seravalli.
Today on Sportsnet’s Writers Bloc the guys were interviewing hockey insider Elliotte Friedman and he was asked how does this situation play out and why is this happening now?
“I think the impetuous of it happening now is the Jets and Byfuglien, I just think the relationship is broken. And I think the Jets would like to try and do some things before the deadline and they were really paralyzed for a lot of this year. They’ve looked at defencemen all season. They’ve had a couple of guys they’ve had beads on but they never knew if Byfulien was going to play and they were stuck. I think they really tried to push it and I think what helps them in this case is that, I don’t think Byfuglien wants to play there anymore. People are like he’s walking away from a lot of money. Well he probably wasn’t going to play this year so he was going to lose whatever money he was going to play (make) this year. I have heard rumours, although I can’t be 100% sure, cause you never know where this is going to go, but there were rumours that there was a concern that his grievance case wasn’t very strong so he was going to lose that money anyway. And also, Byfuglien is a unique personalty and I say that with respect. He’s made a lot of money and I don’t think it was the biggest motivating factor to him. The thing is there has to be agreement on all sides for this to work and I think there just is. I think everybody wants to move on. And the Jets want to move on because they want to see if they can do something else. So I think all of that is a factor. It’ll be interesting to see. He hasn’t skated yet so he’s extremely unlikely to play this year. I think Jeff, the interesting thing is does anyone go to him in the summer and say ‘Dustin do you want to play?’. Cause I think there will be plenty of interest if he wants to play.”
Interesting comments from Friedman.
1) Relationship is broken/Byfuglien doesn’t want to play for Jets anymore;
2) Suggests that he heard rumours that the grievance case wasn’t strong;
3) Will be interesting to see what happens with 33 in the summer.