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How could a team trade away such an important player in a championship run? A run that ended a 49-year drought?
Say what? But Dustin Byfuglien scored a handful of game-winners. He showed he could take heat from some of the best enforcers in the game.
Great. But what did he do for you in the regular season?
Not a whole lot. Thirty-four points does not equate a $3 million price tag. Being known for dogging it in games, being lazy in practice, and disappearing for games does not cut it. Anything short of playing at 100 percent intensity in the NHL equates to standing on the court and observing in basketball, pretty much.
Big Buff was like a nice center or power forward who got you 10 points and 10 rebounds a game. Solid for the most part, but can be replaced because a double-double is more common than ever.
Enter Troy Brouwer and Bryan Bickell. Both played at 100 percent intensity, clogged up the net, and moved anyone in their way. Brouwer outproduced Buff, and Bickell would have put up similar numbers as No. 33. Both are also getting paid one-third the price to do the same job.
Overrated is a good word to describe Byfuglien. His postseason play netted a first-round pick and a high-end draft pick, essentially. Brent Sopel and Ben Eager netted Marty Reasoner, another pick, and some cap relief. The Hawks made out well for a guy who did not produce as often as he needed to in the regular season.
All players should play hard every game, not just 16. Byfuglien could not do that, so he was shown the door.