The Winnipeg Jets are finally going to have some closure on the Dustin Byfuglien situation. The veteran defenseman’s injury and subsequent suspension have been a dark cloud hovering over the team all season, but according to Frank Seravalli of TSN they will soon reach a mutual contract termination. That would make Byfuglien an unrestricted free agent, and free up the Jets to make a deadline addition with the cap space that they had been holding open for his potential return.
Byfuglien, 34, decided not to report to training camp with the Jets at the last minute after an ankle injury did not respond well over the summer. That led to surgery to fix the issue and a suspension from the team, before Byfuglien ended up filing a grievance for his lost pay. The veteran defenseman was set to argue that it was a legitimate hockey injury, one that would normally not stop the team from paying him the $8MM salary he was owed this season in the second last year of his contract.
That contract, which extends through the 2020-21 season meant Byfuglien was owed $14MM for this year and next. Retirement would have meant the Jets could use that cap space for a different player, but also would mean the veteran defenseman was voluntarily walking away from the money. It’s unclear what kind of arrangement will be made with this termination, or when exactly it will be executed.
For the Jets, while obviously they would have wanted the big defenseman in the lineup all year, they’ll now be able to find a different way to shore up the back end. Quickly the team now becomes one of those with plenty of cap space to use at the deadline, though it’s still unclear what path they will go down. At 26-23-4 the playoffs aren’t even a sure thing for Winnipeg, making any big additions risky.
A termination would make Byfuglien an unrestricted free agent and able to sign with any team, however he has not yet started skating in his rehab from ankle surgery. In order to be eligible for the playoffs, he would need to sign with a team before the February 24th trade deadline.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images
Seeya in MN soon Buff!!!!!
Check out Big Buffs’ top 10 hits.
Just google it. Like a runaway locomotive that you don’t want to be hit by.
compared to the one you want to be hit by
so, is he actually healthy enough to play now and just doesnt want to for Winnipeg?
No,He is not Skating(See Article)
At least there won’t be a significant cap recapture penalty.
Even the great Gary Roberts might think that a mere three weeks is too much to ask to get Big Buff in game shape. Couple that with the fact that he turns 35 next month, so the likelihood of anything more than a one-year deal is kinda low. And, why are you some of you guys thinking that he should end up in MIN, other than the fact he loves fishing? If the Wild are shopping Dumba, replacing him with a one-year rental in Big Buff sounds a bit sketchy. Personally, I’d love to see him back out on the ice, but his situation is a bit tough, with the nagging injury and the rust.
He’s from MN, and I have a source(family) that has told me he’s always liked the idea of finishing his career back home. It wouldn’t be a one year deal. We can snag him for 2-3 years
@christianponder – Nice idea by him, but the 35+ contract thing could be a sticking point. Unless he comes back on the cheap, which is a possibility. If Buff is willing to create a low-risk/no-risk deal, why not?
Dustin Byfuglien carries a cap hit of $7,600,000, if thou not sure on how how they do salaries wether game by game at 82 games per year , that is $92,682.82 per game, Minnesota only has cap space of $2,846,790 remaining. Minnesota only has 31 games remaining in season that would put Wild over provided by how many games he does play if any this year. Minnesota as you’ve read are most likely going to have to move out some expiring contracts at end of season and figure how to move out due to limited cap space for aging players in order to sign anyone now or for next season. I don’t think it will happen this year , guess every player at end of career would like to be close to home including Byfuglien. Hope someone may help me on how they break down salary by game, week, month. Would be nice to see Byfuglien play healthy as enjoyed watching him in his early years as forward with Chicago then moving to Defense in Winnipeg.
G – this looks like another Kovalchuk-type situation where a player is going to get a mutual contract termination with the possibility of signing with another NHL team in-season. So, he would become a UFA, and would have to sign a cap-friendly contract, possibly with MIN, as @christianponder has stated. That is, if the league signs off on that.
Mac youre right -Wasn’t looking at the possibility of Byfuglien having to go the Kovalchuk route, maybe as @christianponder has his crystal ball and seeing Wild signing Byfuglien hopefully will come true like his play of style when healthy, at least now Winnipeg has that extra cap space they can make a few moves
It may end being an unconventional win-win for WPG & MIN, if MIN gets him on a good price point. WPG gets the cap space, and *may* be able to make some tweaks at the deadline, but the decision has to come soon.