Byfuglien a free agent after Jets end contract


The Winnipeg Jets and Dustin Byfuglien mutually agreed on Friday to terminate the veteran defenseman’s contract, making him an unrestricted free agent.

The team suspended Byfuglien on Sept. 20 after he refused to report to training camp before the 2019-20 season. It was reported at the time that he was considering retirement.

Byfuglien, 35, missed all 71 games the Jets played before the season was paused March 12 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Thank you Dustin Byfuglien for your contributions over the years to the Winnipeg Jets!,” the team tweeted Friday.

He signed a five-year, $38 million contract extension with Winnipeg in 2016 and was scheduled to earn $8 million on the season.

Byfuglien scored 31 points (four goals, 27 assists) in 42 games in the 2018-19 season, his eighth in Winnipeg. He twice was sidelined due to different lower-body injuries.

Byfuglien has 525 career points (177 goals, 348 assists) in 869 games. He played his first five seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks and one with the Atlanta Thrashers before that franchise moved to Winnipeg before the 2011-12 season.

—Field Level Media