It makes some sense to connect Winnipeg with Rasmus Ristolainen and Justin faulk
- Elliotte Friedman believes Dustin Byfuglien’s decision to take a leave of absence from the Winnipeg Jets isn’t the action of someone who doesn’t intend to play this season.
- It’s believed the ankle injury that cost him 30 games last season never properly healed and continued to give him problems.
- General manager Kevin Cheveldayoff will give Byfuglien as much time as he needs.
- Friedman notes there’s trade speculation linking the Jets to Carolina Hurricanes blueliner Justin Faulk and Buffalo Sabres rearguard Rasmus Ristolainen.
- However, if Byfuglien is returning at some point, the Jets must account for his $7.6-million salary-cap hit.
- That also doesn’t mean they can throw extra cash at restricted free agents Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor.
- Friedman’s colleague Ryan Dixon is among those wondering if the Jets could pursue a top-four defenseman like Faulk.
- The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun also pondered the possibility of the Jets looking at Faulk or Ristolainen.
- The off-season departures of Jacob Trouba, Tyler Myers, and Ben Chiarot depleted the Jets’ defense corps and linked them to Ristolainen earlier this summer.
- Byfuglien’s absence only heightens that speculation.
- Friedman also looked at Laine’s contract impasse with the Jets and how his name is being floated as a trade candidate for a defenseman in the aftermath of the Byfuglien news.
- However, he considers that a hard trade to win.
- As for how much Laine seeks on his new contract, Friedman speculates it won’t be under $6 million annually.
Sources: Elliotte Friedman, Pierre Lebrun, Darren Dreger; Credit : Spectorshockey.net
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