Dustin Byfuglien, Person of Interest?


Big Dustin Byfuglien has been a fixture in trade rumours the last few years, and a favoured whipping boy of the Winnipeg press. I’ve said before that he’d be a fantastic fit on the Oilers’ blue line, but the people who run the team don’t spend a lot of time asking me for my view of Edmonton’s defence corps.

But I bet they talk to new defensive coach Craig Ramsay about it, and few NHL coaches could speak as authoritatively about Byfuglien’s utility on the back end.

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Craig Ramsay

Along with virtually half the Blackhawks, Byfuglien was dumped to Atlanta in the summer of 2010 as Chicago struggled to get itself under the NHL salary cap.

Craig Ramsay was the new head coach of the Thrashers at that time, and he had an interesting plan for the right wing.

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The results were everything anybody could have hoped for, as Byfuglien logged more than 19 minutes per night at even strength on the Atlanta blue line, putting him comfortably in the top-20 of NHL defencemen in minutes played. He was effective, too, as a quick look at the Norris Trophy voting from that season confirms:

Rk. Player Votes
1 Nicklas Lidstrom 736
2 Shea Weber 727
3 Zdeno Chara 688
4 Lubomir Visnovsky 573
5 Keith Yandle 312
6 Kris Letang 144
7 Dustin Byfuglien 33
8 Christian Ehrhoff 28
9 Duncan Keith 24
10 Carle, Doughty, Pronger 8

Here & Now

The end of season quotes on Byfuglien’s future were pretty interesting.

Dustin Byfuglien on whether he will be staying at forward:

I hope not. It’s been done before so it wasn’t the end of the world. I just had to go do my job and that’s it. Yeah, I always prefer defence first, but whatever they tell me to do, I’ll just go do.

Head coach Paul Maurice on whether Dustin Byfuglien will be staying at forward:

Dustin will be starting at forward.


Defensive mess

Byfuglien would instantly be the best defenceman in the Oilers’ system.

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He’d add a heavy shot at the right point of the power play, something Edmonton has lacked for a while now. He’d add some size on the back end (6’5”, 265 pounds) and as his 213 hits this season show he isn’t afraid to use it. He’s 29 years old and under contract for two more years.

But the biggest point is the first one: Byfuglien would instantly be the best defenceman in the Oilers’ system.


  • nuge2drai

    Oiler Domination To Follow

    2015 First Rounder, Gagner and Petry


    Big Buff

    Trying to come up with a trade in which we keep Yakupov, the 3rd overall, Marincin and Klefbom….


    Winnipeg wants to make the playoffs. So for us to get big buff, we will have to move a roster player.

    Eberle or Perron would likely have to go back

    Perron + 2015 1st + Marincin for buff + Kane

    Maybe Kane grows up.

    Only reason I put Perron so because he wasn’t included as part of the core. We do need more Perrons not less.

  • Jayz

    So you’re all nuts. Eberle is going nowhere, and Gagner has zero worth, it’s going to be Perron and klefbom, and I don’t even make that trade… Offer a really fair contract to Niskanin and stop chasing other teams headaches just because they bring “size”.
    Anyone care to elaborate why buff was thrown on the wing ? Someone who was chased off the blue line on a fringe playoff team hardly qualifies as the “best” Dman we would have if he was to be traded here… Just stop .. You are embarrassing yourself JW

  • knee deep in it

    Not sold on Buff , nor Phaneuf for that matter . Today , Hockeybuzz says Oilers about to make an offer for Phaneuf Leafs can’t turn down . Hockeybuzz claims Phaneuf closer to being an Oiler than a Leaf .

    • knee deep in it

      We all like to hear the rumours around here but to quote Eklund is like quoting Nuge2Nail or Quicksilver Ballet. He has no sources or the worst sources i’m not sure which it is. but allow me to repeat some of his rumours at this years trade deadline.

      Moulson and Stewart reportedly going to Ottawa.

      Bruins and Devils making big push to get Edler.

      Red Wings making a big offer to acquire Vanek.

      Bruins, Hawks and Canadians all heavily involved in talks to get Stempniak.

      Gagner to TB….. Need i say more?

    • knee deep in it

      HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA at the fact you actually believe Hockeybuzz. That site is only good for one thing, laughing.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    Dont trade for buff,this is what oilers should do

    trade ganger,klefbom and 2015 1st to philly for coutourier and coburn

    swap picks with toronto and throw in yakapov for phanuef.

    hope to get someone out of free angency.this teams defence would be great with neon dion and coburn mixed in with marincin,nurse,jshultz and pety for years to come,with the additions of scrivens and fasth this team woul;d be solid.coutourier shores up our 2nd line center.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    I would much rather have Byufflin (possible spelling error, but I don’t really care) over the Coburn option. Having Dustin being able to play 2 positions that well would be a huge bonus as far as injuries go.

    Bring Bufflin in, and also Dustin Penner, draft the slow mo Germanian Draisaitl in the coming weeks. We’d have the very first molasses in January line in the NHL. Give the Jets Gagner and Nurse* The 7th overall Darnell Nurse certainly isn’t much of a prospect at all if he can’t crack this joke of a blueline over the past 12 months. Many have mentioned he’s even further away from making it this coming season as well. #blownpick

    All of our wildest dreams would come true! WE CAN’T LOSE.

    *Since many here want to do this whole trading of vastly over rated prospects for actual NHL players slippery slope.

    • Word to the Bird

      Okay I might be being hypocritical right now, but have you ever seen him play before? In what way has Nurse gotten worse? By saying “blown pick” are you suggesting that Nurse is destined to become a bust? Wait until he’s closer to the NHL before you start throwing around thoughts like that.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        Out of it since November, and now they’re going to start doing things the proper way?

        With many holes still rampant throughout this line up, there’s nothing wrong with expediting him, just like all the other kids thrust into this team have been.

        Lets face it, without these premo picks the last 5 yrs, the Oilers aren’t even worth watching. Yet another season playing with inferior competition/kids is suppose to help him how?

        The kid did get cut by a team with an atrocious blue line that also finished 28th last season.

    • WeridAl

      A lot of top D prospects take time, look at Hamilton in Boston, or Larssen with the Devils. What is silly is fans and media giving up on them because they don’t develop as fast as they want. Nurse is not ready, but he bleeds skill. He needs to bulk up and work on his defensive game. You don’t throw him to the wolfs right away. Not a fan of his, but I can even see this, and willing to admit the Oilers need to keep him.

  • geeker99


    I love the idea of grabbing Byfuglien, but what do you think it would cost to acquire him? Do you think the Jets would take either the #3pick for him straight up? Or would you be willing to move a Yakupov, Maricin or Klefbom to get him?


      • camdog

        Would you be willing to move Perron and Petry for Byfuglien?

        If Byfuglien was on the block imagine Philly would offer up a lot for him. Maybe Coburn does land in Edmonton via a 3 way deal with Winnipeg.

  • camdog

    Trading for Byfuglien would be huge! Ideal situation would be a 3-1 trade where we don’t have to give up a top 6 but I’d go as far as Eberle straight up.

    Byfuglien has holes in his game like every other available top dman but it should be clear that he’d be miles ahead of anyone on our roster and a leap forward in this rebuild!

  • Just thinking about this a little bit, I wonder if (hypothetically) there isn’t a Perron-Byfuglien deal to be made. Winnipeg wants to use him as a forward, and Perron has to be a comparable player at that position. Add in that Perron’s about $1.5MM cheaper and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Jets thought hard about Perron+ if it were offered to them.

  • camdog

    What kool-aid has everybody been drinking this morning?

    Desperation seems to be in full bloom: “Buff, phaneuf, letang, cobourn…. Can we at least get one? Anyone…. Please get someone…” Wow!

    As for Buf: “Just remember other teams will be offering Jets the farm for him.” Really? His reputation isn’t that great. Winnipeg may be happy to get rid of him. Would Buf or Kane fit into the Oilers’ dressing room with the present crew? Doubtful. Their records indicate both are high maintenance.

    Let’s hope that MacT isn’t desperate. This organization has made some major blunders in acquiring players before and have paid a heavy price for all the mistakes.

    • J.R.

      Dude, you have to admit these are desperate times.

      A bit of an overpay for a good player is likely what we’ll see here, otherwise it’ll be a repeat of the last two years at the draft when no deals got done.

      Nobody wants to bring in a problem guy but what do you do when you need a rare stud d-man and you only have a shot at a couple of guys? The Oilers just need a calculated risk to not bite them in the ass for once.

  • knee deep in it

    The jets don’t seem keen to resign jokinen so they have a hole at center. I wonder if Gagner (50% retained) and one of klefbom or marincin gets it done?

    Btw, even if buff had a 5 team no trade list, having Ramsay here would probably be enough to get him to waive. Buff had his best years playing for Ramsay and players don’t forget that

    • Dockstaff

      Gagner does have worth, he just needs the right mix. Wpg needs a player like him, LA used to until Gaborik showed up. Unfortunately Gags no longer has the worth to go straight up for Byfuglien.

      To quote PJ Stock, “Jokinen is a cancer.” Gagner would be an improvement; his weaknesses are exposed ona team that has no backcheck, but in Wpg, Gags won’t be so exposed.

  • WeridAl

    Edmonton’s D sucks, so lets go out and trade for a D that cannot play D. Really makes a lot of sense. But, but he has a great shot from the point. Than you trade a ton for him, to only see him play 2yrs, because big Buf will run the 1st chance he gets. Than there is the fact Dustin Byfuglien has a weight problem. People are living in the past with this one, Dustin Byfuglien made a name for himself as a forward, but his D is severely lacking.

      • Wax Man Riley

        You betcha, on a better team, better city with teammates he actually likes and has history with! Like Ladd..

        No one wants to go to the Oilers to play with a bunch of kids that don’t know defence. Bogosian, Enstrom and Stuart all got NMC’s here for a reason. They like playing in Winnipeg and to avoid going to places like Edmonton.

        • BlazingSaitls

          Im happy Jets are back but we all can admit the honeymoon is long over. Jets had many games last year that were not sell-outs. I read an article that even blamed the cold, lol. Say what you will about Edmonton one thing you cant take away are the die hards that continually pack home games. Some can interpret it as naivety but Oilers fans honeymoon is never over. When the Oil do start to win, and it will happen, it wont be the Siberian wasteland of the NHL anymore. We love hockey too damn much and there are NHL players that appreciate that.

        • a lg dubl dubl

          It’s all about winning for “most” players. So if a team is playing well enough to be a perenial playoff team. Or they are looking like a major upswing is going to happen then players will not be so reluctant to go there. Detroit is a terrible city for example but players rarely balk at a trade there. unfortunately for the Oilers they have not shown themselves to be on the upswing as of yet. So major selling will have to take place or slight overpays will need to occur if its a UFA.

          With the young talent assembled and on the way I could see the tide turning for the Oilers in attracting free agents and/or the oilers name to become a little less frequent on a players No trade team list.

          Edmonton due to location will always be out there as a team players generally may not want to go to. But in my opinion when the team is winning this is somewhat of a built in character barometer on players we don’t want anyways. See Nylander/Heatley for examples of dodged bullets thanks to players perception of the city.

        • HardBoiledOil 1.0

          get a kick out of those who claim that Winnipeg is a “better” city than Edmonton. how so? and the only reason these players signed long term in Winnipeg was because of the huge money being offered and the long length of the contract. also, only Enstrom amd Bogosian have actual NMC, the rest have modified or limited movement, so if they want out, they can probably get it.

          • Wax Man Riley

            Who said anything about winnipeg being the better city? I believe the point being made is they’re a better team(undeniable) and players don’t want to play on the worst team in the league.

          • HardBoiledOil 1.0

            actually, @Milos did on post #55. maybe read it before commenting next time. and how does anyone here know for sure whether the Jets players “don’t want to play on the “worst” team in the league”? worst run? perhaps, but Buffalo, Islanders and Florida are poorly run as well, regardless of occasional playoff appearances.

      • bwar

        I think anyone would rather play in winnipeg on a decent team then come to edmonton and join this sh!t show!! Oh wait I forgot, any year now this teams gonna take off and become a dynasty again….. *pours another glass of koolaid

      • WeridAl

        Short memory, when Atlanta move to Winnipeg, Buf made noises about not wanting to play in Canada. Highly doubtful he’ll want to got to a team that is a year or 2 from the playoffs.

    • Wax Man Riley

      You’re forgetting something though: right now he plays in Winnipeg.

      I love having the Jets back in the league if only for one fact when players are traded from Winnipeg:

      At least it’s not Winnipeg.

  • The Last Big Bear

    Ottawa can offer a deal based on Jason Spezza. Philly can make an offer involving Coutourier or Schenn. Toronto could swap problems by offering Phaneuf. Along with guys like Mike Richards, Brad Richards, Ryan Kesler, etc, these are all players either openly or rumored to be on the trading block.

    That is the kind of return the Jets can reasonably expect for Byfuglien.

    Not Sammy Snowpants and some throw-ins.

    If the Jets are actively shopping Byfuglien, they’ve probably called Ottawa to at least ask about Spezza. They’ve probably called Philly to see what they might be willing to offer.

    I absolutely, with 100% certainty GUARANTEE YOU, that the Jets have NOT called Edmonton asking if Petry is available for a possible Byfuglien trade.

    • Dan 1919

      Haha I agree, way to lay it out, most trade posts on here seem to think that the other team should be happy with players that haven’t panned out for the Oilers.

      Depending on what else the Jets are offered, I think the Oilers have enough d-prospects to make a realistic proposal without throwing in an Eberle.

      It may involve moving some of these new “untouchables” like Simpson or Marincins according to other fans.

      Klefbom, Nurse, JShultz, Simpson, Marincin, Petry.

      I would prefer to keep Nurse from that group and trade any other two if it drastically improves the team with a bonified NHL’er.

      Edit: 100% trade prospects for an NHL’er if Ekblad is landed

  • Zarny

    H.F Day to those many dad’s out here and there!!!

    Although I like the big Buffer myself, I for one would not give up Ebs, Perron or the 3rd over-all this year for him.

    The top 6 is just coming into shape for the Oilers right now with Hall, Ebs, RNH, Perron…and what is last to add is a 2nd line centre and one more proven winger. getting rid of Ebs and Perron now would be anothger setback for the Oilers we DON’T NEED!!!

    Buffer is a very good type D-man to have on the Oilersw but trading for him should only take a straight up of Gagner or Yakupov, or maybe Petry … and either a prospect like Musil or a mid round pick… nothing more. These two young ones are great youngsters but they’re having difficulty providing the Oil good top 6 play time. But with Winnipeg either of Gags or Yak could do well playing there.

    Nurse, Marancin, Schultz, Gernat, Davidson, and Simpson are making up the new very near future of the Oilers and none of these should be gone either. I guess the draft of either Ekblad or one of the centres (Bennett, Reinhart, Draisaitl) would then dictate the trade possibility with Winnipeg by July 1st.

    • Dockstaff

      I agree with WhataMike except for the straight up trade. A top 4 Dman, that makes good plays, good checks and can laser it from Blue line, is very valuable in this league. The fact that Buf is all of those makes him worth more than any one price the Oil would wish to pay with. Buf isn’t elite, and I don’t think anyone here has said that yet, but his type is few and far between. Skilled forwards are far easier to find… We have six!