Photo Credit: WinnipegJets.com

Byfuglien Watch 2019: “It’s OK, They Aren’t Adversarial!” Edition

Two Dustin Byfuglien updates in one week? It truly is a Christmas miracle!

During his weekly “To The Point” feature on Sportsnet, former NHL GM Brian Burke listed off items that all seven Canadian clubs would want for Christmas, and when he got to the Winnipeg Jets, his wish was one that many Jets fans would readily agree with, but he also had some very interesting insight into what has been going on as well…

“Even though people think the relationship is strained, I talked to (Jets General Manager) Kevin Cheveldayoff, he said at no point has this relationship been adversary or difficult or strained. The issue here is going to be how much the NHL about resolving the entire issue with exit physical and the form 25-A”

The “form 25-A” that Burkie is referring too if you remember back from when he brought it up back at the start of November. Basically at the end of each season, all players are checked out by their team’s medical staff and the club, the player and the team’s head doctor all sign off on a form that agrees that if needed right then and there, the player is “fit to play” and could suit up for a game at that very moment. It’s a way for a team to prevent a player from being injured during the summer (be it suffered because of training or non-hockey related practices) and then turn around and claim the injury happened during the hockey season. (We go over the details, ramifications and speculation here.)

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In other words, as we all have kind of suspected over the last month or so, it’s very possible that there really is no rift between the Jets and Byfuglien, but because things were mishandled on both sides, the league as well as the Players Association are now involved to protect their own interests in the event something like this happens again in the future.

For what it’s worth, Dustin still continues to be seen in and around Winnipeg as he’s been recovering from ankle surgery that while still being taken care of by an independent medical staff, is at least keeping the Jets in the loop.

These things hardly seem like the actions of a man who is ready to be absolutely done with the Winnipeg Jets.

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So we continue to wait, but this past week has certainly been encouraging for Jets fans and a return of big (and healthy) number 33 to the lineup for the second half of the season would be an incredible boost.