Jets, Byfuglien strike 5-year, $38M deal

– Big Buff is off the NHL free-agent market.

NHL teams looking to add a rental defenseman before the trade deadline will have to look elsewhere as the Winnipeg Jets signed Dustin Byfuglien to a $38 million, five-year contract extension. Byfuglien, 30, will be part of the Jets' long-range plan at a salary-cap hit of $7.6 million and is relieved he doesn't have to worry about finding a new landing spot this summer as an unrestricted free agent.

"It never really crossed my mind going anywhere," said Byfuglien, who grew up in Roseau, Minn. "You can't win a Stanley Cup overnight. It's a process, and I feel they're in the right state, so I thought I'd run with them."

Byfuglien was at the forefront of the Jets' first playoff appearance last spring in their fourth season in Winnipeg. At 6-5 and 260 pounds, he is a two-way force who can put up points, defend and deliver big hits.

Byfuglien has 15 goals and 17 assists this season, and those 32 points have him tied for 13th among defensemen.


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