Atlanta hamstrings future Winnipeg owners with Byfuglien contract

It's no secret that I think Dustin Byfuglien is very overrated.  And a $5.2M annual contract - which is more like $5.4M given that Atlanta bought out one of Buf's RFA years - would suggest that he's one of the 20-25 best defensemen in the league.  Sadly, no.  Byfuglien is probably overpaid by $1M per season, and Atlanta takes a big risk with a long contract to a guy who isn't even the best defenseman on his own team!

The bigger issue is that the Thrashers are on the block and before yesterday had no liabilities beyond 2012-13.  Now they do, and there's pressure to lock up other players.  Trying to sell a hockey team where you've nuked its financial flexibility is like trying to sell your house and tenants as a package deal - the value goes way down.  So Winnipeg ownership will have to figure out what to do with his contract.

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