The Winnipeg Jets suspended Dustin Byfuglien for failing to report to training camp, TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported Saturday. The move however is just a technicality so the team can remain flexible while the blueliner ponders his NHL future.
WPG has suspended Dustin Byfuglien for failing to report to camp. If he doesn’t report by opening day, WPG loses his cap hit until he does report.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) September 22, 2019
Not nearly as ominous as it sounds. WPG still wants Byfuglien back but needs to protect roster and cap flexibility until they know his intentions.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) September 22, 2019
The filed paperwork can be “reversed at any time,” according to McKenzie, who added that the move isn’t something that will be catching Byfuglien by surprise.
The 34-year-old was granted a leave of absence in mid-September prior to the opening of Jets training camp. The reasoning behind Byfuglien’s request was not specified by the club, but head coach Paul Maurice said, “there's nothing sinister to this” and relayed the assurance that Buff and his family were all fine health-wise.
Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff echoed the sentiment.
“We always care about people of our family. One thing I will say, health-wise everything is good for him and his family. But again, from our standpoint, we support Dustin and look forward to the resolution.”
It was later reported that Byfuglien was, in fact, pondering retirement from the NHL.
Byfuglien posted four tallies and 27 assists in 42 games during an injury-plagued 2018-19 campaign.
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