Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice has announced that defenceman Dustin Byfuglien is out at least four weeks or until the All-Star Break, if not longer. He will not require surgery.
This is bad news for the Jets. While it is not until the end of the season, it is still a relatively long time to lose a key player. There are a couple positives though: they have banked points all season and they will hopefully get to see what Sami Niku can do if he is the defenceman the call up from the Manitoba Moose.
For the Jets, there are two things I would recommend they try doing to make it through the time without Byfuglien. Niku preformed well beside Jacob Trouba for a three or four games when Josh Morrissey was out. It would pay to break up Morrissey and Trouba for the time being and allow Niku to play in Morrissey’s spot with Morrissey carrying a pair with Tyler Myers on the right side. If this is not working out, it would pay to trade for a stop-gap defenceman. If they can find an expiring contract who can play the right side with Morrissey, they could offer a player like Nic Petan in return. Anyways, now the fun begins.