The Winnipeg Jets could be starting the season without the services of their star defenceman.
TSN 1290 broke the news early Friday that Dustin Byfuglien will be taking a personal leave of absence, and Jets’ general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff confirmed the absence to CTV Morning Live.
"Not a lot of details are going to be released on it. Obviously it is a personal type of thing. But his family's fine, he's fine," said Cheveldayoff. “We had some conversations, and in the conversations he indicated that he needed some personal time, of which we certainly grant.”
There is no timeline for the 34-year-old’s return to the lineup, and now the potential exists that the leave could impact the regular season.
“We don’t know if it impacts it at all,” said head coach Paul Maurice. “For tomorrow’s skate it will. But we get into timelines again, and I don’t have those answers for you.”
Cheveldayoff reaffirmed the team's support for fan-favourite Byfuglien, who he assumes will be staying in Winnipeg during the leave.
“Obviously this is all still fresh, I guess less than 24 hours,” he said. “We’ll see as time goes on here, and kind of keep a tab on it.”
Byfuglien, a veteran of 869 NHL games, had four goals and 27 assists in 42 games with the Jets last season.
-With files from CTV News Winnipeg