The Winnipeg Jets say their star defenceman is taking a leave of absence.
Dustin Byfuglien has asked and been granted “a personal leave of absence from the hockey team.”
Coach Paul Maurice told media Friday Byfuglien asked for leave but couldn’t say how long he would be gone.
WATCH: Winnipeg Jets player Byfuglien in good health as he takes personal leave, says GM
“He had asked for and granted our personal leave … Let’s just put it this way, there’s nothing sinister to this,” said Maurice.
Maurice did say it was a new issue and unexpected, but said he couldn’t say if there would be an impact on the team for the season.
“Well, we don’t know if it impacts it at all … we get into timelines again and I don’t have those answers for you.”
Maurice said he’s not worried. “No, I’m, I think it’s going to be well-handled.”
“I met with Buff yesterday and we had some conversations and in the conversations, he indicated that he needed some personal time,” Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said.
“We certainly granted it. Dustin is a big part of our family here. There’s always an open policy for discussions. We always care about people of our family. One thing I will say, health-wise, everything is good for him and his family. But again, from our standpoint, we support Dustin and look forward to the resolution.”
Cheveldayoff said Byfuglien was in Winnipeg skating before the start of camp and remains in the city.
Sources confirm to Global News that Byfuglien is not seeking any kind of addictions treatment.
The six-foot-five, 260-pound Byfuglien, 34, had four goals and 27 assists in 42 games last season.
Byfuglien has played 869 career NHL games.
WATCH: A bar in Petersfield, MB got an NHL-sized surprise New Year’s Eve when Winnipeg Jet Dustin Byfuglien stopped by