The 30-year-old All-Star was set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st, and some believed the Jets would trade the star before the deadline on February 29th. Instead, the Jets, who seemed to be a young up and coming team a year ago, decided to keep Byfuglien for his leadership qualities.
Winnipeg just missed out on a playoff spot a season ago, but find themselves nowhere near that position this season. They will now go into the rebuilding phase, hoping to keep their top defenseman along with captain Andrew Ladd to lead that transition.
Byfuglien was acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010 and has 15 goals and 17 assists this year.
Soon to be free agent Ladd has 13 goals and 17 assists this season, and the Jets' focus will turn to reaching a deal with their captain, rather than dealing him. If the two sides cannot reach a deal, a trade is a legitimate possibility.