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Byfuglien suspended by Jets for not being at camp

Defenseman on leave; move called 'procedural' by coach

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

Dustin Byfuglien has been suspended by the Winnipeg Jets for not reporting to training camp.

The defenseman was granted a personal leave of absence last Friday, the day the Jets opened training camp, and was suspended Saturday. The suspension was confirmed by coach Paul Maurice on Sunday.

"It's absolutely procedural and Dustin was aware of it," Maurice said.

Byfuglien met with Maurice on Thursday before his leave of absence continued into its second week.

"I'm not making any comments," Maurice said Friday. "He's got a life. I love the guy. I sat down and had a wonderful conversation with him yesterday, and it was great. That's it."

Byfuglien had 31 points (four goals, 27 assists) in 42 games last season and eight points (two goals, six assists) in six Stanley Cup Playoff games. The 34-year-old missed 15 games from Dec. 31-Feb. 5 because of a lower-body injury and missed 19 from Feb. 16-March 28 because of a different lower-body injury.

"Dustin is a big part of our family here," Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said Friday. "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."

The Jets are also without forwards Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor. Each is a restricted free agent who has not reported to training camp. Laine is training with SC Bern, a professional team in Switzerland.

Byfuglien is entering his 10th season with the Winnipeg Jets/Atlanta Thrashers after playing his first five NHL seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks. He has 525 points (177 goals, 348 assists) in 869 NHL games.

NHL.com staff writer Tim Campbell contributed to this report

Tweet from @TSNBobMcKenzie: WPG has suspended Dustin Byfuglien for failing to report to camp. If he doesn���t report by opening day, WPG loses his cap hit until he does report.

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