Jets suspend Byfuglien for refusing to report to camp: reports

The Winnipeg Jets suspended defenceman Dustin Byfuglien on Saturday for refusing to report to training camp, according to multiple reports.

The 34-year-old Byfuglien is reportedly considering retirement. 

TSN hockey insider Bob McKenzie was the first to report the suspension.

Byfuglien has been absent since camp opened on Sept. 13. He met with Jets coach Paul Maurice on Thursday.

WATCH | Jets coach Paul Maurice discusses Byfuglien’s leave:

When asked about the retirement rumour, head coach Paul Maurice told reporters on Wednesday that he’s respecting Byfuglien’s privacy and won’t comment on that or the reason for the leave of absence. 2:05

General manager Kevin Cheveldayoff was hopeful Friday that the club could work something out with Byfuglien.

“Dustin is a big part of our family here,” Cheveldayoff told reporters. “There’s always an open policy for discussions. We always care about people of our family. One thing I will say, healthwise, everything is good for him and his family. But again, from our standpoint, we support Dustin and look forward to the resolution.”

Byfuglien is scheduled to earn $8 million US this season in the fourth year of a five-year deal. 

Byfuglien scored 31 points (four goals, 27 assists) in 42 games last season, his eighth in Winnipeg. He was twice sidelined due to different lower-body injuries.

Overall, Byfuglien has recorded 525 career points (177 goals, 348 assists) in 869 games. He played his first five seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks and one with the Atlanta Thrashers before that franchise moved to Winnipeg before the 2011-12 season.