Monday, September 30, 2019

Dustin Byfuglien Swatch Card

(As per years past, this is a twin-post with my "regular" blog, where I predicted the Winnipeg Jets would finish fifth in the Central Division in 2019-20).

It's looking more an more like Dustin Byfuglien is at the very least pulling a Mike Fisher and taking a break until the trade deadline, if not full-on retiring. After the losses of Jacob Trouba, Tyler Myers and Ben Chiarot, losing Byfuglien would possibly be the final blow into the Winnipeg Jets' unlikely implosion.

They still have a very dependable goalie who is just entering his prime and one of the best offenses in the league, but losing two-thirds of a blue line is an impossible hurdle to overcome without a magic trick or a major trade up one's sleeve.

And Byfuglien is no ordinary defenseman; he's one of a handful of game-changers/game-breakers at his position in the entire league (with Brent Burns, Victor Hedman, P.K. Subban and Erik Karlsson) who can take control of a game by himself with crushing hits, end-to-end rushes, an opportune goal - many times all at once.

There's a reason why the Chicago Blackhawks used to have him play forward on powerplays and when they needed to come from behind: he has the ability to be unstoppable.

He's also a very valuable leader on that Jets team, one with the Stanley Cup-winning experience the team needs to go further in the postseason.

He technically has a contract that is still valid until the end of next season, so if he rediscovers a flame for the game, it's likely Winnipeg will take him back right away, despite having been forced to suspend him for administrative reasons (so his salary doesn't count against the salary cap).

Here he is wearing the Jets' white (away) uniform, on card #GG-DBY from Panini's 2013-14 Titanium set and Game-Worn Gear sub-set:
It features a beautiful dark blue jersey swatch that could be from the home or away uniform.

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