Every few days we at JetsNation get asked either online or by our family and friends, “Hey, what’s up with Dustin Byfuglien? When is he coming back?”
The honest answer is: No idea. No one knows outside of maybe Dustin Byfuglien, his immediate family and a handful of people within the Winnipeg Jets organization know what’s up with him and when and if he may be returning to the Jets at any point in the 2019-20 season.
We’ve seen various people talk about possible returns or outright retirements. Even well respected insiders like Elliotte Friedman are at this point kind of just guessing. At this point it’s probably safe to assume that none of us will truly know if he’ll be back until the moment Big Buff comes walking through the players entrance door of Bell MTS Place, tosses the fishing rod to the side and states “I’m back boys!”
Which is why today when Yahoo Fantasy Hockey were a little surprised when they got this notification on their phones.
OH MY GAWD THATS HIS MUSIC
I can’t find any news about this, but I need an update! pic.twitter.com/uVooD3sA57
— trap (@CallMeTrapHouse) October 21, 2019
* Insert “blinking man oh really.gif” here *
What the heck did Yahoo Fantasy Sports know that literally everyone else didn’t? Did they have a GPS hooked up to Buff’s truck and saw that it was headed towards the arena? Maybe they have hidden mics set up at his various favorite fishing spots and overheard something? They could have gotten tipped off by someone who was at an Earl’s Restaurant.
Nope. None of that. Turns out it was a false alarm.
So, either Yahoo had a boo-boo with Byfuglien’s status or … pic.twitter.com/cdc769LLw2
— Christine Forsyth (@chrischris716) October 21, 2019
Two hours after Yahoo changed his status from “suspended” to “day to day” they flipped it back and it’s like things never changed, although fantasy hockey players may want to keep Buff around as the notifications had some people asking…
100% stash him. He's exactly what that Jets team needs
— Rob Reese (@NHLReese) October 21, 2019
Meanwhile there is one thing worth considering in terms of a possible return and what that would mean for the Jets Salary Cap that was pointed out on Twitter by @AavcoCup who has been keeping an eye on this situation (as well as the Ville Heinola and David Gustafsson ELC deals and when they will kick in).
Who reported that news? BTW in 4-5 days the #NHLJets will be able to add Buff to the roster and take on his cap hit without making any other roster moves. This could even allow a conditioning assignment to the #MBMoose if that is considered a valuable option.
— Aavco Cup (@AavcoCup) October 21, 2019
As it stands right now, the Jets at this moment would need to make a move to get Byfuglien back onto the roster to fit the rest of his salary in to the Cap, but in a few days that won’t be necessary as enough of the contract will have been “burned off” so to speak. It could also explain why the Jets who were down to six defensemen on the main roster with Anthony Bitetto out, didn’t call up a seventh defenseman over the weekend as an emergency stand-by… Every day that goes by where the Jets can get through without having to add salary will open up room in the Cap for one more big-ticket addition to the roster.
Jets fans remain hopeful that the addition is a returning Dustin Byfuglien.