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Pilot's Logbook: Dustin Byfuglien

Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports


Dustin Byfuglien's play has been oft been compared to a roller-coaster. There are highs and lows, but there are also a boat load of thrills. This is usually applied in a micro sense, but it was true in more of a macro scale this year. Byfuglien started the season as a forward and when he was moved back to defense he dominated. Byfuglien dominated to the point that he was gaining some steam as an MVP candidate and he also found himself playing in the NHL All-star game. He did most of this while playing along side a rookie.

Byfuglien's play trailed off some as the season progressed, but there is no doubt that his impact early on was beastly.

The story here is pretty simple. Dustin Byfuglien is a bad forward. His two way game from the wing is far worse than people think he is when he patrols on the blue line. The numbers wen't up sharply after the move to defense and while he wasn't able to sustain his all-world play, he was a far bigger asset on the back end.

Dustin Byfuglien remains a strong offensive player, granted over the last couple seasons the largest volumes of his points have come on the powerplay. He is also among the most physically imposing players in the league. He can play first pair minutes and he can do it well. Byfuglien can be among the most exciting players in the league to watch.

The Future

This is where things get complicated. Dustin Byfuglien is generally the kind of player that teams try to hand on to. The problem for the Jets is multi-layered. Byfuglien has just one more year remaining on his current contract. He may or may not be interested in signing an extension. If his is, it is hard to say what kind of money he'll be asking for.

Add to this the team's depth on defense, particularly on the right side and the decision gets tougher. Jacob Trouba is the future number one defender on this team and that future might be now. Tyler Myers was also added to the roster this year and the team appears to have a lot of faith in him. Tyler Myers isn't Dustin Byfuglien, but he is five years younger and locked up long term.

There is a real possibility that Dustin Byfuglien could be moved if he isn't willing to sign an extension at a price that the team likes. Do you think Dustin Byfuglien will be moved this year?