Dustin Byfuglien loses out on $14 million after contract termination with Jets


The Winnipeg Jets and Dustin Byfuglien┬áhave agreed to terminate the defenseman’s contract following a prolonged dispute. As a result of this decision, the 35-year-old veteran will lose out on $14 million between this season and next.

The basis of the dispute was whether Byfuglien could collect on his contract while recovering from an injury, even though he hadn’t reported to training camp and it wasn’t clear when he planned on returning to the team. Winnipeg general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff argued that the defenseman’s mind was made up in the fall, saying that Byfuglien “had lost his desire to play in the National Hockey League” after talking with the player in the fall.

Meanwhile, though he had missed training camp — and was suspended from the team for doing so — the veteran had gotten ankle surgery in October with the intention of rehabbing through the winter, and filed a grievance through the NHL Players’ Association because he felt he should be compensated for his efforts to come back.

Byfuglien now becomes an unrestricted free agent, but questions remain on whether he’ll even continue his career in hockey. While that’s up in the air, one thing that certainly isn’t is that regardless of who he signs with, he won’t be able to compete in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, whenever that ends up happening.

The veteran defenseman scored 177 goals and 348 assists in 869 regular-season games with the Blackhawks and Atlanta Thrashers/Jets. He won the Stanley Cup with Chicago in 2010.





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