Winnipeg Jets Hoping to Spark Dustin Byfuglien by Moving Him to Forward

By Casey Drottar
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Just a few days ago, Winnipeg Jets coach Claude Noel was looking for a way to get defenseman Dustin Byfuglien back on his A-game. It appears he’ll be making his first attempt tomorrow, with a shift in position.

For the first time since 2010, Byfuglien will play on the wing as the Jets take on the Columbus Blue Jackets tomorrow. When asked about the move, Noel labeled it as an attempt to try and boost the team’s lack of scoring.

“I’m looking to try and get some people going offensively,” Noel said. “What I’m hoping to accomplish, not only with one line, is positive production.

“We’re trying to find ways to win. He can be a guy that can have an impact in the game.”

Thanks to past success at the position, this move could reap solid rewards for Byfuglien and the Jets. He played on the wing when he was a member of the Chicago Blackhawks, and played a huge part in the team’s 2010 Stanley Cup Championship. He can be an incredibly effective net-front presence on the power play, something the Jets will undoubtedly be utilizing with this move. He’s been playing on the blue line ever since he was traded to the Atlanta Thrashers when the Blackhawks were shedding salary after the Cup win.

Winnipeg drastically needs something to shake them out of their lull. They’re stuck in a four-game losing streak, and are slowly watching their season circle the drain. Currently, the Jets are ten points out of a playoff spot, and unless the team goes on a huge winning streak, there’s a solid chance they’ll be watching the playoffs from home again.

For Noel’s sake, he better hope a move like this can spark said winning streak. Otherwise, someone else may be behind the bench in Winnipeg next season.

Casey Drottar is an NHL writer for Follow him on Twitter @CDrottar19 or “Like” him on Facebook

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