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Will the Jets trade Byfuglien to a contender?

Winnipeg Jets vs New Jersey Devils

Winnipeg Jets’ Dustin Byfuglien (33) reacts after scoring a late goal against New Jersey Devils goaltender Cory Schneider (35) during third period NHL action in Winnipeg on Saturday, January 23, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woodsduring the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, in Winnipeg, Manitoba. (John Woods/The Canadian Press via AP)


Dustin Byfuglien is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

With the Jets’ playoff hopes dwindling, many GMs around the league are hoping to land the big forward/defenseman as a rental player.

But do the Jets really want to part ways with him?

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, they don’t.

During his “Headlines” segment, Friedman said Winnipeg wants to work out an extension with Byfuglien.

“There are a number of teams that would like to get him as a rental player at the deadline,” Friedman said on Saturday’s Hockey Night in Canada broadcast. “The word everyone seems to be getting is, (the Jets) are going to take a real run at trying to sign him.”

But what’s it gonna take to get him to sign an extension? That’s the (several) million dollar question.

There isn’t another player like Byfuglien in the NHL. He’s unique in that he’s had success as a big minute defenseman and as a productive forward.

Byfuglien’s current contract, which was a five-year deal, was worth a total of $26 million.

He’s definitely in line to get a raise.

The 30-year-old has hit the 45-point mark in each of his last four seasons (excluding the lockout year) and he’s on pace to hit that number again in 2015-16. He’s also averaged at least 23:05 of ice time in each of the last five years.

He’s not the only player the Jets have to re-sign. Captain Andrew Ladd’s contract is also up at the end of the year.

Can they afford to keep both players?

What to do, what to do?