He'll no doubt be hearing catcalls in enemy rinks, even more now that he's given them some fodder. At times, he'll be the butt of jokes about his weight. As if he wasn't already. But when he walks into the Winnipeg Jets dressing room for the first time since his brush with the law in Minnesota, Dustin Byfuglien will command the same respect from teammates as he did before. In the first reaction from a teammate to the star defenceman's arrest on suspicion of boating while impaired, veteran goalie Chris Mason says there's no reason Big Buff won't continue to be a leader and key contributor on the Jets. "No reason, whatsoever," Mason told the Sun, Friday. "Anyone that I've ever known has made mistakes, small or big or whatever they may be. I'm a strong believer in redemption and being able to prove yourself. "I know the kind of guy he is. He's going to do everything he can to redeem himself. He'll still be a huge contributor, leadership-wise and on the ice for our team." As the NHL's top goal-scoring defenceman, and with a Stanley Cup ring on his finger, Byfuglien doesn't have to reach far for respect. The fact he's 6-foot-5, 265 pounds, give or take a month or two of summer vacation, commands attention, as well. These days, the 26-year-old from Roseau, Minn., doesn't have to look far for a little sympathy, either. "I feel for him," Mason said. "He made a mistake. Unfortunately, when you're in the situation that he's in, everyone's going to hear about it."
Jets Buff still commands respect
Toronto Sun | Sep 3