A look back on one of the legends of the Blackhawks: Dustin Byfuglien
Dustin Byfuglien (now retired) had a unique characteristic about his game to start. He was able to play forward, and then defense on-ice in the NHL. For being a late pick in general at any sport, it was under-rated that a player would exceed expectations to be a genuine level talent, but with his special hockey attributes, Byfuglien was able to take destiny into his own hands.
Born March 27, 1985 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A. Hockey has been in the Byfuglien’s household as well, with his step-father, Dale Smedsmo playing professionally.
So forth a championship legacy that helped bring a parade to the City of Chicago in 2010, where he was a menace to deal with racking up the penalty minutes, and being that monster presence in front of the net at times during the powerplays in which he delivered greatly.
Start of Career
In the early stages of his life, Byfuglien started his playing career during the year of 2001-02 playing for the Brandon Wheat Kings for two seasons in high school and than Prince George Cougars for the next three all in the WHL.
Dustin Byfuglien was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in 2003, during the 8th round, 16th pick (245th overall) in general to begin his career. But, played for the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL, the farm team for the Blackhawks for majority of the season in 2005-2006; playing 53 games and racking up 25 games for Chicago within that time frame. He played another 63 games in the AHL and only 9 in the NHL during the 2006-07 season, finally cracking the bar in the 2007-08 season playing 67 games for Chicago, and 8 for the Rockford IceHogs when the farm team was moved to that location.
He played three full seasons for the Chicago Blackhawks, recording 51 goals and 50 assists, tallying to 101 points. Which is not bad for a defenseman to say the least, given his size and ability made him that gifted player to deal with. As a forward, mainly at ring wing, he was tremendously dangerous. Where he provided ample grit to his game by finishing for checks and hits.
2009- 2010 Peaks and Valleys
Led by Jonathon Toews, the speedster Patrick Kane, Marion Hossa and of course Dustin Byfuglien during the Championship season that would see a 52 wins and 22 loss record, coming out to 112 points for the season.
Dustin had played 82 games for Chicago that year, with an even split of 17 goals and 17 assists that season, tallying it up to 34 points. During the post-season however, he had suited up 22 games recording 11 goals and 5 assists, earning 16 points in the Stanley Cup winning performance.
Due to salary cap restrictions after the season had ended, the general manager at the time Stan Bowman, had traded Dustin Byfuglien to the Atlanta Thrashers in a mega-packaged deal from both teams that saw from a range from players, to prospects, to draft picks.
Highlights of a Champion
During Byfuglien’s Stanley Cup run, he was a highlight reel like no other, that scored two big hat-tricks and five game-winning goals that set the team off incredibly well. His dominance to say for the Blackhawks was the key for the team to take charge in a diamond formation in the offensive zone, that eventually let them to their victories. His ability to play the game was remarkable and the way he moved for his size, with the added grit was in fact the x-factor of an under-rated player that planted his mark in the NHL, and in the world of ice-hockey.
For More Great Chicago Sports Content
Follow us on Twitter at @chicitysports23 for more great content. We appreciate you taking time to read our articles. To interact more with our community and keep up to date on the latest in Chicago sports news, JOIN OUR FREE FACEBOOK GROUP by CLICKING HERE