Dustin Byfuglien is going to be mentioned in trade talks as the NHL draft draws closer and the talking point that will be raised again and again is his weight.
It was evident Byfuglien grew heavier this season as the games moved on and according to accredited Jets blogger Pete Tessier, the player's weight rose to 302 pounds by season's end.
If there's any truth to this number, Byfuglien is virtually untradeable. Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff can't engage in trade talks with another GM and keep Byfuglien's weight off the table until the very end -- then hit his colleague with an, "oh, by the way, Buff's a little big right now."
Cheveldayoff has a solid reputation in the NHL for good reason. He's above board, and hiding a player's physical ailment, such as being overweight or having a bad knee, isn't kosher. It comes out anyway. Teams must hand over medical reports and players must pass physicals.
The Jets weren't having any of this talk when reached for a comment on Monday evening.
"The Jets have never been, and never will be, in the habit of commenting on rumours started on Twitter," wrote a team spokesman in a text message.
We'll leave the debate as to what the team should comment on to the Jets, as it's their business. But Byfuglien's late-season appearance and coach Claude Noel's clear displeasure with him were red flags. Did Buff weigh three bills during an NHL season? Don't know. But it's not unimaginable.
Tessier isn't known for being a rumour-monger and printing an outright lie is a quick way to get one's press credentials yanked. Tessier would have to have a good source and be in strong position to defend his story. I checked with Tessier Monday night and he stood by his story and his source.
All this brings us back to what the Jets need to do about Dustin Byfuglien, arguably their most talented player and a highly-paid one, at $5,750,000 this coming season.
It's been stated he's soon to be a diminishing asset, but his lack of conditioning has already decreased his value at just age 28. Cheveldayoff would be at a disadvantage in any trade negotiation right now. The whispers about Byfuglien's conditioning long ago broke into open conversation.