Derek Meech ready to take Dustin Byfuglien's place in Jets lineup

Derek Meech could suit up tonight for the Jets if Dustin Byfuglien is unable to fly to Florida in...

Derek Meech could suit up tonight for the Jets if Dustin Byfuglien is unable to fly to Florida in time. (JASON HALSTEAD/QMI Agency/Files)

TED WYMAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:40 PM ET

SUNRISE, FLA. - The Winnipeg Jets still don’t know if they’ll have Dustin Byfuglien in the lineup Tuesday night when they face the Florida Panthers but their problem pales in comparison to those of the opposition.

Byfuglien, who was attending to a personal matter in Minnesota, experienced travel delays due to bad weather and is not expected to arrive in South Florida until 5 p.m., just two hours before game time. He is questionable to doubtful for the key divisional matchup against the Panthers and Derek Meech is ready to take his place.

“If he’s here, he’s here and if he’s not, we’ve got to win the game and there’s other ways to get this done,” Jets coach Claude Noel said after an optional gameday skate that attracted 11 players.

The Panthers are a team that has been decimated by injuries. The latest blow came when general manager Dale Tallon announced Tuesday that centre Stephen Weiss needs wrist surgery and is out for the season.


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