WINNIPEG — Dustin Byfuglien has arrived in Winnipeg and joined his Jets teammates as medicals and physicals kick off the club’s inaugural training camp.
Byfuglien met with reporters late this morning in the new media centre and press conference room on the lower level of the MTS Centre.
The 26-year-old defenceman is facing legal issues stemming from a recent boating incident in his home state of Minnesota. Byfuglien was asked by police to provide a breath sample and after he passed the breathalyzer was detained and asked to offer a urine sample. He refused, was arrested and charges are pending.
"I can’t really talk about it right now," Byfuglien said this morning. "My lawyer says not to. Later on, maybe we can but right now, that’s it."
The next hot topic for the hulking defenceman was his weight. He was said to be at 286 pounds when he was arrested.
"My weight’s always going to be the same," Byfuglien said. "I have no problem with my weight. Obviously they’re happy with my weight. I just got done. That’s no problem. You guys keep throwing numbers out there and having fun with it, guessing."
He was asked if he wanted to give today’s number from his medical.
"No, whatever you want," he laughed.
"I know he’s in good shape. I saw Dustin on a daily basis and he was working really hard. There are going to be some rumours, especially with what happened, and there is going to be some negative stuff said. I’ve spoken to Dustin and I know he’s ready to go," said teammate Mark Stuart, who worked out this summer in Minnesota with Byfuglien.
"I tell people all the time that I don’t think he’d be as good a player if he didn’t look the way he does. He’s strong. I’ve never seen somebody as strong as he is. He’s powerful and he gets around the ice. He’s fit and he won’t be winded. When you look at him you’re not seeing a guy that’s cut. That’s not his body. Even if he wanted he couldn’t be chiseled."
Byfuglien said he’s eager to get going with the relocated team.
"I’m just here to play hockey," he said. "It’s what I do. Summer was long and I’m excited for this new opportunity in this new place and I think everyone’s going to like it here."
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