NASHVILLE -- Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien
insists he isn't allowing the trade chatter around him to get in the way of how he goes about his business on a day-to-day basis.
Byfuglien can be an unrestricted free agent after this season, and with the Jets struggling he has been the subject of rumors with the 2016 NHL Trade Deadline coming soon, now a month away (3 p.m. ET on Feb. 29).
"I'm the guy that just lets it roll (off my back)," Byfuglien said. "It doesn't bother me at all. It's business. It doesn't matter even if I have a contract. That date is set and it comes down to that day for everyone. No one is safe. It gets into the back of your head, but it's nothing that I'm worried about. Business is business. I think either side is going to be OK on it. It's something I just gotta go with."
Byfuglien said he loves it in Winnipeg because "it's kind of my style of town." He is interested in staying and said there have been contract negotiations, but the process has been slow.
"We talk, but nothing is moving too fast so it's a matter of sitting here and waiting," Byfuglien said.
Byfuglien has 14 goals and 29 points in 49 games this season. He is tied for second among all defensemen in goals with Oliver Ekman-Larsson of the Arizona Coyotes and fellow all-star Justin Faulk of the Carolina Hurricanes.
Byfuglien expects the Jets' success, or lack thereof, in the next month will determine if he stays or goes. Winnipeg is nine points out of a Stanley Cup Playoff spot. The Jets went 5-6-1 in January and have 12 games before the trade deadline, including eight on the road.
"That's just it, the team goes up on a good spree for a little bit and then things change, their mindset changes, but then you have a slow couple weeks and you get down, things turn again," Byfuglien said. "It's been a little bit of a rollercoaster."
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Author: Dan Rosen | NHL.com Senior Writer