2:06: Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice said that Dustin Byfuglien, who was forced to leave Saturday in the third period against the Minnesota Wild with a left leg injury, will be out “a while,” until at least the all-star break if not longer, according to Winnipeg Sun’s Ted Wyman. Maurice added that the next update will be at the all-star break, but the 6-foot-5, 260-pound defenseman could be out even longer.
“That would be the very earliest part of the window. I don’t know what it’s going to look like in the next two or three weeks,” said Maurice, adding the injury didn’t require surgery.
Byfuglien suffered a injury to his left leg when he collided with Minnesota’s Luke Kunin during the third period Saturday and was forced to leave the game. He needed help to get off the ice. Maurice didn’t specify whether the injury was to his ankle or his knee.
The 2019 NHL All-Star Game is to take place on Jan. 26, so expect Byfuglien to be out almost a month before an update will be provided. It’s a big blow to the Jets’ defense, who was looking to continue to hold off the Nashville Predators from taking their spot as the top team in the Central Division. The loss of Byfuglien means the team will lean more heavily on Jacob Trouba, Tyler Myers and Josh Morrissey. However, the team believes they have the depth to succeed without him. Coincidentally, the team hasn’t lost a game without their star defenseman this year as the team is 5-0-1 this year. Byfuglien has already missed six games this season. He missed two games with an upper-body injury in mid-October and then missed another four games with a concussion from Nov. 27 through Dec. 7.
“You have Tyler Myers and Jacob Trouba who would very much like to play 25 minutes a night. They’re going to get an opportunity,” Maurice said. “When Dustin went down earlier, we had Morrissey and Trouba playing 28 minutes a night. We have players that can handle it and can take it.”
It’s expected the team will get back Joseph Morrow today and that Myers is expected to be ready for the New Year’s Eve game in Edmonton.