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Analysis

Former Chicago Blackhawks We’d Like To See, Not See Again In Chicago

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Apr 2, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy (2) brings the puck up ice as Buffalo Sabres left wing C.J. Smith (49) pursues during the first period at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 2, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy (2) brings the puck up ice as Buffalo Sabres left wing C.J. Smith (49) pursues during the first period at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports /
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chicago blackhawks
Apr 6, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien (33) against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. The Jets won 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

Dustin Byfuglien

We’re starting big here, quite literally. Big Buff was a crucial net-front presence for the Blackhawks on their way to the Stanley Cup in 2010. He potted 34 points in the regular season before adding another 16 in the playoffs and making himself one of the more hated guys on the ice, especially for opponents like Philadelphia’s Chris Pronger.

Byfuglien wasn’t long for the Blackhawks, however, as he was quickly shipped to the Atlanta Thrashers the following offseasons. He remains with the team to this day (now the Winnipeg Jets), having transitioned to his more natural defense position.

Byfuglien has tallied 340 points in 498 regular-season games for the Jets along with a point in just four postseason affairs. Byfuglien is a big bruiser who likes to mix it up with opponents and get them off their game. He doesn’t move terribly well, making him a tougher sell in today’s NHL.

The 32-year-old is currently sitting in Year 2 of a five-year contract giving him $7.6 million per season. And the Blackhawks need to get younger and more mobile on defense, neither of which Byfuglien offers. So while his career Corsi-for mark of 53.3 percent is appealing (achieved with 53.1 percent of his starts coming in the offensive zone), I’m passing on Byfuglien.

Should Blackhawks want him back: No.

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