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New Jets coach plans to leave Dustin Byfuglien as a forward for now

Tuesday, 01.14.2014 / 3:35 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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New Jets coach plans to leave Dustin Byfuglien as a forward for now

WINNIPEG - New Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice says he's leaving Dustin Byfuglien at forward for now.

Maurice was impressed with how Byfuglien played in Winnipeg's 5-1 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday night.

Byfuglien had two assists versus Phoenix and remains the third highest-scoring defenceman in the league with 37 points.

But Maurice says he'll remain as a forward until the coach sees something that warrants a change.

Maurice adds the best-case scenario is being able to slot Byfuglien wherever he's needed.

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You don't see many. The [Drew] Doughtys, the [P.K.] Subbans, those are guys that create offense from the back and then on top of that ability, the size that he has. In the West you play against some pretty big players, and being able to clear the crease and contain the [Ryan] Getzlafs and the [Corey] Perrys and [Anze] Kopitars and players like that, we're excited about him going back there.

— Sharks general manager Doug Wilson on Brent Burns returning back to defense