Jets GM not in market to trade Byfuglien

Winnipeg Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien. (BRIAN DONOGH/Winnipeg Sun files)

Winnipeg Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien. (BRIAN DONOGH/Winnipeg Sun files)

PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:58 PM ET

Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff says he has not seriously explored the possibility of trading Dustin Byfuglien.

However, Cheveldayoff doesn't doubt there would be a strong market for the popular defenceman.

"Buff is a very unique player," Cheveldayoff said. "He has the size a lot of players, a lot of teams, would covet in this league, with respect to the push to get a bigger, harder player to play against. I could see where teams would have interest. I could see where rumours would start.

"But it's not something I've contemplated or I've talked about in great detail with any other team about trading him."

Byfuglien's rumoured weight has made headlines again this off-season, one report suggesting he'd ballooned to 300 pounds by the end of last season.

But the GM shrugged those off, saying No. 33 seems to be a magnet for speculation.

"Last summer we were talking about this situation, this summer it seems we're talking about it, and if I could venture a guess, next summer we'll be talking about it as well," Cheveldayoff said, adding no player is untouchable.

"You would explore anything when it comes to trying to make a trade," he said. "We want to build through some stability, as well. Players that want to be here, we want to make sure we continue to build through those kinds of players."

Byfuglien, 28, was tied for ninth among NHL defencemen in scoring last season with eight goals, 20 assists in 43 games. He had a minus-1 rating.

He was officially listed as 6-foot-5, 265 pounds going into the year.


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