Photo: Bruce Bennett
Friday, Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien spoke to the media and talked about his uncertain future in Winnipeg.
The 30-year-old all-star defenseman is in the final season of a five-year, $26 million contract. Byfuglien is considered by Elliotte Friedman as a potential target of the Washington Capitals.
When asked if his preference was to stay in Winnipeg, Byfuglien was not convincing that he wanted to stay in the park-less city.
“I just want to put on a jersey, to be honest with you,” Byfuglien said. “I don’t mind Winnipeg at all. It’s close to home for me – it’s probably the closest I’ll ever get to play by home. There’s so many good things that I like about Winnipeg. I can do my outdoor stuff that I love to do. I have no problem being up there.”
“Yeah, I mean [Ladd and I] talk, obviously,” Byfuglien said. “We’re pretty close friends, so we talk a lot. It comes up. It’s stressful. I’m an easygoing guy. I don’t really talk hockey with him very often. We talk about other things — kids, life outside of hockey.”
Byfuglien did confirm that the negotiations were ongoing.
“It’s been okay,“ Byfuglien said. “Something I just told my agent (Ben Hankinson) don’t talk to me about it. If things get close, let me know. He’s got a job to do. I’ve got a job to do. All I can do is worry about what’s going on in my life right then and there.”
The 2016 NHL Trade Deadline is less than a month away (3 p.m. ET on Feb. 29).
“I’m the guy that just lets it roll (off my back),” Byfuglien said. “It doesn’t bother me at all. It’s business. It doesn’t matter even if I have a contract. That date is set and it comes down to that day for everyone. No one is safe. It gets into the back of your head, but it’s nothing that I’m worried about. Business is business. I think either side is going to be okay on it. It’s something I just gotta go with.”
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