Jets’ Dustin Byfuglien granted personal leave of absence by team

Kevin Cheveldayoff talks with the media about Dustin Byfuglien’s leave of absence from the Winnipeg Jets.

Winnipeg Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien has been granted a leave of absence by the club.

The NHL team says there is no timeline for Byfuglien’s return. The club declined to give an exact reason for the leave.

"Let’s just put it this way — there’s nothing sinister to this," said Jets coach Paul Maurice. "You start going down the list and then the process of elimination … he has his right to privacy in this. Like I said, there’s nothing sinister to it. He needs some time and he was given that."

The Jets made the announcement just before the start of training camp on Friday.

"I met with Buff yesterday and we had some conversations and in the conversations, he indicated that he needed some personal time," Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said.

"We certainly granted it. Dustin is a big part of our family here. There’s always an open policy for discussions. We always care about people of our family. One thing I will say, health-wise, everything is good for him and his family. But again, from our standpoint, we support Dustin and look forward to the resolution."

Cheveldayoff said Byfuglien was in Winnipeg skating before the start of camp and remains in the city.

When asked if there was reason to be concerned for Byfuglien, Maurice said, "Well … no. I think it’s going to be well-handled."

The six-foot-five, 260-pound Byfuglien, 34, had four goals and 27 assists in 42 games last season.

Byfuglien has played 869 career NHL games.


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