According to Darren Dreger of TSN, the situation between the Winnipeg Jets and defenseman Dustin Byfulgien is about to get interesting, if not complicated.
Already a story many NHL insiders were keeping an eye on, the news that Byfuglien underwent surgery on an ankle issue, makes his status with the Jets tricky, considering that, if it is determined that the ankle injury occurred playing hockey, Dreger suggests things “could get complicated”.
The latest report is that Byfuglien’s representatives have reached out to the NHLPA to see what his options are and if he’s eligible to receive portions of his current NHL salary.
Adding to Dreger’s report, Ken Wiebe of The Athletic write there are a number of unanswered questions surrounding the Byfuglien situation. Among them, was Byfuglien doing the Jets a favor by not getting a physical when it was clear he likely wouldn’t have passed it at the start of the season? Or, did he seek a physical and the medial staff had a differing of opinion of his diagnosis?
While things haven’t currently changed in regard to the defenseman’s status with the team, Wiebe writes that it might. He explains, “…there could be a plot twist or two that bubbles to the surface in the coming weeks and months.
Why Isn’t Anyone Talking?
So far, GM of the Winnipeg Jets, Kevin Cheveldayoff hasn’t said much. He was asked to address the media regarding the situation and didn’t have much information to offer. All he would say is, “We’re in constant communication with his agent and that’s where we’re at.” Speculation is that there are layers to this that can’t be discussed in an open forum, some perhaps legal in nature.
And, TSN’s Bob McKenzie suggests people won’t hear much, if anything, from Byfuglien’s side.
Only one person can answer that and, as we know, Byfuglien isn’t too forthcoming on personal info. In any case, Byfuglien getting the surgery may, and I stress the word may, open the door to return at some point. That would be contingent on when or if he feels well. We shall see.
It’s unfair to guess as to what’s really going on here. But, if there’s one guess we will make, the situation seems to suggest Byfuglien isn’t likely to return to the Winnipeg Jets this season.
And, at some point down the road, someone will need to address what’s really going on here. It’s far too strange a situation to let it rest.