Dustin Byfuglien’s status on the Winnipeg Jets has been quietly lingering in the background all season long, but both player and team now look to be parting ways for good.
According to Frank Seravalli of TSN, the Jets and Byfuglien are working toward a termination of his contract, which would end his suspension and close the grievance that he filed against the team in November. The grievance claimed that Big Buff deserved to be paid while recovering from a legitimate hockey injury, as he was suspended without pay for failing to report to training camp. With the grievance pending and no formal hearing date set, the team was unable to void his contract previously.
The 34-year-old Byfuglien has not skated since having ankle surgery in October. He reportedly began rehabbing the injury in mid-December, but his on-ice future is still very much in question. Terminating the contract would clear $7.6 million in cap space for the Jets, and make Byfuglien an unrestricted free agent.
Byfuglien has been a major part of the Jets for eight seasons, scoring 102 goals and tallying up 363 points in 528 games for the club while logging more than 24-and-a-half minutes of ice time per game.
The Jets have managed to stay in the playoff race without him, sitting three points back of the second wild card spot in the Western Conference.
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