Dustin Byfuglien had already won a Stanley Cup when he got traded to the Atlanta Thrashers in 2010. He won it with the Chicago Blackhawks the year prior to his move to Atlanta, and during that playoff run, Byfuglien had 16 points in 22 points.
Everybody knew Byfuglien would be a key player in his new team, but he exceeded all expectations. Atlanta Thrashers relocated just one year after Byfuglien’s move, and he stayed with the Winnipeg Jets for eight seasons. Everybody thought it would be more, and with his physical play style and ability to score crucial goals, he was a huge fan favorite all around the league.
But Byfuglien wasn’t happy on the ice.
During the summer of 2019, reports came that Byfuglien wanted to end his contract. The discussions with Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff continued until April 2020, when both parties agreed on terminating “Big Buff’s” contract, worth $14 million.
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Everyone was in shock. Byfuglien wasn’t feeling well and wanted to get out. He didn’t want to continue to play, and he was honest about it. So Byfuglien left the Jets and the NHL, and since then, he has barely done any interviews, and he’s living a life far from fame. He never shows up at games and is never seen in the media.
A lot of fans have been asking; What really happened to Byfuglien? And how’s his life today?
Well, earlier this summer, he was interviewed by the Fort Frances Times, a local newspaper” from Across the Rainy River District.” But it really didn’t have much to do with hockey.
The newspaper covered a fishing competition, and the former Winnipeg Jet was there to compete. Byfuglien finished 79th of 90 in the competition, and since retiring from the NHL, fishing seems to be the thing Byfuglien does most. He told the newspaper he fishes about a dozen tournaments each year. He also got asked if he ever misses the rink.
His answer was brutally honest.
“I can’t say I do,” he said. “I got two boys that are coming up, so I’ll be at the rink plenty in a little bit.”
We miss you, Big Buff! What a player he was in his prime.
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