July 2, 2015


Record: 43 – 26 – 13

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Buff may look leaner, quicker but there was no secret diet

DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN won't ever reveal the number. His weight -- listed at 265 pounds in the Winnipeg Jets training camp guide -- will remain between him and the club.

But he does look leaner and quicker, for what it's worth. And when he was asked if he was down in weight after the first official on-ice session, offered up this:

Dustin Byfuglien says the prospect of a spot on the U.S. Olympic team provides extra motivation.

JOHN WOODS / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Dustin Byfuglien says the prospect of a spot on the U.S. Olympic team provides extra motivation.

"Yeah. A little bit. Up and down."

Byfuglien spent more time on the ice this summer working on fine-tuning his game and also attended the U.S. Olympic Orientation camp. But there is no secret diet or training regime involved here.

"I didn't really do anything different. I was on the ice a little bit more," he said. "I did what I had to do to come to camp ready to go."

The Jets clearly need Byfuglien to be more engaged, more consistent and more committed if they are to become a playoff team. When he's on, he's a difference-maker. And when he's not, he's a difference-maker for all the wrong reasons.

"Everyone tries to be as consistent as they can, that's the main focus," said Byfuglien. "It's something I just have to bear down on and try to do my hardest and my best and just work with it."

As for his own goals in 2013-14, he added:

"Same as every year. Try to get to the top and try to be the best player out there I can be and try and take over games."

Byfuglien also riffed on a couple of other timely topics.

On how many exhibition games he'd like to play in to get ready for the regular season:

"I'd rather play in all of them. Who wants to sit and watch? That's the way I look at it."

On whether the possibility of playing for the United States is any extra motivation to start the year:

"It helps. It helps me maybe get out of the gates a little better but when I was there I was focused on that camp and now that I'm here I'm focused with the Jets.

Asked what it would mean for him to be able to don the American jersey, Byfuglien said with a smirk: "It'd be nice to take the gold from Canada."

HAINSEY FINDS A HOME: The Carolina Hurricanes added former Jet D-man Ron Hainsey on Thursday, signing him to a one-year $2-million contract. His addition came after the Canes announced Joni Pitkanen, also a defenceman, will be out for the entire season with a heel injury.

"Hainsey was a guy we liked coming into free agency and we wanted him to come here," Carolina general manager Jim Rutherford told reporters in Raleigh, N.C. "We were trying to make it work, so we are thankful for him being patient.

"He's a veteran who has logged between 20 and 22 minutes a night over his career, so he's capable of playing more than 20. We're going to be better balanced defensively, so we don't have to have the same two guys logging the most minutes each game."

ed.tait@freepress Twitter: @WFPEdTait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 13, 2013 0

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Updated on Friday, September 13, 2013 at 8:19 AM CDT: Corrects misused word

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