Ladies and gentlemen, Dustin Byfuglien -- formerly of the Chicago Blackhawks and now of the Atlanta Thrashers -- just got paid. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported yesterday that Big Buff has been signed to a five-year, $26 million extension. He is currently leading the team in points with 43. According to Thrashers GM Rick Dudley:â†µ
Dustin has become one of, if not the most, notable faces of the franchise. He’s been a brilliant player since he arrived, and he’s got a personality to go along with it, so people gravitate to Buff.â†µ
Ouch. Yeah, we know. Of course, Byfuglien was one of the "notable faces" of the 2009-10 Stanley Cup winning Blackhawks. He was the guy you went mano y mano against Chris Pronger of the Philadelphia Flyers in the playoffs. He was the guy who called us all "shorties" at the victory parade. He was the guy traded to the Thrashers in June out of concerns about the salary cap. Those 43 points would look pretty good on the Blackhawks right now, putting him just behind Jonathan Toews (50), Patrick Sharp (49) and Patrick Kane (46).â†µ
In other former Blackhawks news, in case you hadn't heard, the Flyers acquired forward Kris Versteeg on Monday from the Toronto Maple Leafs for draft picks. Although the aspiring rapper isn't exactly melting the ice so far this season (his +/- sits at -14 in 54 total games played), he's still young (25) with plenty of upside.