Jets: Dustin Byfuglien at forward? This won't end well...
By Dean Belanger
How can you sense when a team or coach is desperate? Well in the case of the Winnipeg Jets, it's when you see Dustin Byfuglien, arguably their best defenseman, playing forward. Is he the most effective D man? No, that would be Zach Bogosian. Is he the best option for the future? No, that would be Jacob Trouba. So what is the problem then? Well, he can't really play forward.
Edmonton - January 11, 2014 - How can you sense when a team or coach is desperate?
Well in the case of the Winnipeg Jets, it's when you see arguably their best defenseman playing forward.
Is he the most effective D man? No, that would be Zach Bogosian.
Is he the best option for the future? No, that would be Jacob Trouba.
So what is the problem then? Well, he can't really play forward...
Coach Claude Noel did this last year when the team went off the rails and it was a disaster. His conditioning last year was not good enough to play a hard 30-45 second shift. I would argue that he is in better shape this year, but I'm not confident he will be able to keep up. And yes, I know he won a Stanley Cup playing with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. In case you were wondering, they don't happen to play on the Jets...
I suppose their is a chance this could work and maybe there is some upside to this move. As far as I'm concerned, all your doing is running the risk of diminishing your best trade asset. If you don't want Byfuglien on your defence, trade him. The return for a "#1" defenseman would be huge. Of course that would suggest that GM Kevin Cheveldayoff would ever make a transaction that isn't a waiver pickup during the season.
If the coach actually makes it through the season, look for Byfuglien and maybe even Evander Kane to get traded at the draft. If Noel finally gets held accountable for this mess then all bets are off. I do know this, there are 20 teams in the NHL that would trade for Byfuglien today...as a D man, not a forward. And lastly this, what message is Noel sending to his team and his GM? Obviously he feels they are not good enough.
Dean Belanger originally starting blogging at Hockey's Future way back in 2001. Born in Winnipeg, he was a Jets fan until 1995. He then became an Oilers fan about 1997/98. He then became a season ticket holder in 1999. Then the Thrashers moved to Winnipeg the day after his Birthday in 2011, things got confusing... If you have questions or wish to contact Dean, you can email him at email@example.com
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