Winnipeg Jets Dustin Byfuglien


The Winnipeg Jets Dustin Byfuglien …. 

Winnipeg Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien is an enigma wrapped up in a conundrum as Joe Pesci famously said in the movie JFK.  Never has a player in Winnipeg Jets history been as scrutinized, analysed, criticized and loved. 

Dustin_Byfuglien_Winnipeg_Jets_Training_CampThe fans that love him will defend him like a mother bear defends her cubs.  I see nothing wrong with that and I would never criticize a fan for loving their team or their favorite player.  Why would you? The fans that dislike his game are just as adamant.  The funny thing about his fans and his detractors is that they all bring up very valid points in their pros and cons. 

My take 

It’s too bad it’s 2013 because Big Buff is a late 1980’s, early 1990’s era player.  He would have fit right in with that wide open style hockey played then.

Any hockey player or coach will tell you, offence is fun and defence is hard work.  Do I actually need to say anymore?  Anybody that has seen Dustin Byfuglien play hockey can see that he has an excellent offensive game.  You can also see that he absolutely loves when his team has the puck and they are on the attack.

On the flip side, you can see that the other end of the rink is a chore for him at times.  Would that be a fair statement?  The funny thing is that he is not a bad defensive player.  I’ve seen games where he has been All-Star material in both ends of the ice.  Not consistent enough for most fans liking though.  Is he lazy?  I don’t think so.  Is he overworked?  Definitely.  Is he out of shape?  At first glance you’d be inclined to answer yes. 

I don’t know that any player can play in the best league in the world and be out of shape.  I’ve seen Big Buff do some amazing things on the ice in his first two years as a Winnipeg Jet.  I have also witnessed some of the most troubling shifts that I’ve ever seen.

It’s been said, with tongue in cheek, that Dustin Byfuglien is the most dangerous player on the ice …..  in both ends.  The good Buff can be amazing and the bad Buff can be a coach killer.

Who’s to Blame?  

Dustin Byfulien himself.  Is he in the best shape he can possibly be in to earn top dollar at his profession?  He currently is set to make $5,750,000, $5,750,000 and $6,000,000 over the next three seasons patrolling the blue-line for the Winnipeg Jets.  IMO this is too much money for a one dimensional player.

I think that Coach Claude Noel and the Winnipeg Jets coaching staff need to share in some of the blame.  The coaching staff has heaped too much responsibility and ice-time on his broad shoulders. The truth of the matter is Buff is an offensive specialist.  There aren’t too many other players I’d want on the ice if we needed to score a big goal.  

On the other hand Dustin Byfuglien is not a shut-down defenceman.  Why our coaches have him on the ice in the last minute of a game is mind boggling to me?!?  Aren’t smart coaching staffs suppose to put their players in a position to succeed?  Or is he just the best of a bad bunch?

The truth of the matter is that going  forward, when this team is a contender, a lot of our current favorites will be irrelevant by then anyway.  The fans need to temper their expectations.  Enjoy them while they are here.

Right now, the Winnipeg Jets are probably a better team with Dustin Byfuglien than they’d be without him.  If the team stops playing him 25 minutes a game and let him play to his strengths, we can enjoy watching him instead of picking his game apart.  He is a dynamic player when he is on!

In a perfect world, Zach Bogosian becomes top dog and young Jacob Trouba makes a fast and furious rise up the depth chart.  This would help take some of the pressure and tough minutes away from Byfuglien.


Dustin Byfuglien was a Stanley Cup Champion with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010

Am I Too Optimistic?

My biggest problem as a sports fan is that I am actually the eternal optimist.  I really do think Ollie Jokinen will rebound with a solid 55 point season in 2013-14.

I really do believe that Dustin Byfuglien is tired of hearing about his weight and comes to camp in great shape and plays like an All-Star.  Yup, the truth is out. Don’t dare use it against me!!!

I like Dustin Byfuglien and I want him to succeed but I haven’t seen enough of the “good Buff”.  All fans want the same. There seems to be a feeling that this is Dustin Byfuglien’s make or break year in Winnipeg.  He still is a valued asset and has been mentioned in trade rumors since last years trade deadline.

If he gets traded, I’m okay with it as long as we don’t give him away and that we get good value in return.  I absolutely do not believe he is un-tradable!!  Do you not think every GM in the NHL know’s what Buff is all about?  

Like I said if he’s traded fine but there is nothing worse than traders remorse.  I would hate to trade a player like Dustin Byfuglien and then have him put up a 60-70 point season elsewhere.  I would just as soon see him have his success in Winnipeg.     

I wouldn’t say I’ve done a complete 360 on Buff but I think a 180 would be fair.  I’m back in Dustin Byfuglien’s corner for now because it’s not all on him.  Once again, Big Buff will be heavily scrutinized, analyzed, criticized and loved again this season.

We’re not in Kansas anymore, I mean Atlanta.



  1. Pitty_Da_Fool says

    His numbers seem to suggest his liabilities were overkilled before last year.

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