I have begun to lose more and more respect for Byfuglien over the past 3 weeks. He has taken numerous stupid penalties. He has been very vocal, and not in a good way. Just the other night, he was over heard saying, "I'm sick of playing for a god damn losing team" There was probably 15-20 of us who heard him say this while sitting in the penalty box.
I sincerely hope he's traded, and really wished to see him traded at the deadline. He seems to have reverted back to his somewhat disinterested ways. I'll give him credit for losing a lot of weight. But he's been spiralling downward for quite a while now. On the Cougars msg board, an interesting point was brought up. His first season and a half here, he had other Vets to keep him at least on a straight line. He wasn't looked on for leadership.
That being said, there's been times, WHEN HE WANTS, to be among the best players on the team, and one of the BEST players in the league. The guy has HUGE skills and a massive shot. I believe at the skills comp it was clocked at, get this, the 3rd hardest on the team, at 91MPH, with Matty Trojovsky and Andy Rogers clocking in higher at 95MPH and 94MPH respectively.
However, I truly believe that a coach that is willing to actually stand up and bench him WOULD help him out. Lane Lambert, the Cougs coach has done very little in helping Dustin out - this coming from an fans perspective anyways. Lambert, along with a couple other players, without naming names, basically called Byfuglien out in the newspaper after a game a few weeks ago.
He's a tough player to watch because you can see the skill, but you can also see he just doesn't care very often...which seems to be occuring more and more over recent weeks. He DOES get picked on by the officials, but at the same time takes some EXTREME BONEHEAD penalties...such as, taking a clean hit, late in the game, and then basically punching the Kelowna player as he skated away.
It's unfortunate because he IS so highly skilled....
If he had Chara's work ethic and dedication he would be a more dominant player than Chara, therefor one of the best around. I've watched him play a few times in the last two years and I don't understand how he can have such top notch skills while being so large. He's a classic boom or bust and some time in the ECHL and AHL may be all he needs to get motivated to be a peak performer. He doesn't need to be in great mental or physical shape to succeed in the WHL.
He comes from a pretty good hockey family...I'd keep him signed for a while.
The guy is freakin huge.... if i were the opposition i'd be scared when he flies (using the term loosely) down the ice with the puck..
is he a natural defenceman? when i saw him play, he was playing forward (and was dominant)
i haven't seen his defensive play so i cant speak for that position (i think calling him chara is a stretch)
offensively, i see him in a chris simon role (but with better skating ability).. and that is not to slight byfuglien cuz simon had potential to be a consistent 20-25 goal scorer except most teams used him as an enforcer (he did score 35 that one season with the caps)