Jets sign Byfuglien to five-year, $38 million contract extension

The Winnipeg Jets had to choose between Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd. They chose Byfuglien.
Bruce Fedyck/Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

The Winnipeg Jets’ contract dilemma just became significantly more clear.

The Jets announced today that they have signed Dustin Byfuglien to a five-year, $38 million deal.

The deal will carry a $7.6 million cap hit through the 2020-21 season.

This contract extension essentially means that the Jets will likely part with Andrew Ladd. Ladd and Byfuglien both entered this season on the final year of their contracts, and both were due for a large pay raise. Winnipeg likely only has room for one, and with this extension, it’s clear who the odd man out it.

Byfuglien was acquired by Winnipeg (then the Atlanta Thrashers) in 2010 along with Ben Eager, Brent Sopel and Akim Aliu in exchange for Jeremy Morin, Joey Crabb, Marty Reasoner and a first and second-round selection in the 2010 draft. In his six-years with the organization, Byfuglien has appeared as a forward and a defenseman, chipping in 93 goals and 174 assists in 389 games. In his career, Byfuglien has 148 goals and 228 assists in 649 games.

Now that the Byfuglien extension is taken care of, Winnipeg will likely look to move Ladd at the upcoming trade deadline on Feb. 29. Ladd, who serves as the Jets’ team captain, should land Winnipeg a nice return.

The Jets are due for one more large contract. Fellow defenseman Jacob Trouba will become a restricted free agent this offseason. Trouba’s reportedly asked for a $56 million contract over eight years earlier this season.

You can follow Tommy Chalk on Twitter @Tommy_Chalk