The appeal in trading for Dustin Byfuglien
January, 23, 2014
By Craig Custance | ESPN Insider
Kirk Irwin/Getty ImagesDustin Byfuglien's confidence, physicality and versatility combine for strong trade value.It’s a recent playoff series that’s slowly fading away into the NHL history books without much thought. The 2010 Western Conference finals wasn't a seven-gamer. In fact, it was quite the opposite. The Chicago Blackhawks swept the San Jose Sharks in a series that was fascinating because it was brief yet extremely competitive. This wasn’t a mismatch. Every game was close.
You would talk to Joe Thornton after every loss to try and get answers and he would kind of shrug and say, “I liked how we played.” And he was right -- they just weren't winning.
Had it gone longer, the Conn Smythe vote might have looked different that postseason because Dustin Byfuglien was dominant at times in this series. He scored a goal every single game against the Sharks, including the game winner in three of the four games.
There was one moment in the Blackhawks' dressing room during a tight Game 3, when Byfuglien let his Blackhawks teammates know exactly how it was going to end.
“He said, ‘I’m going to get this one,’” Blackhawks forward Kris Versteeg said Wednesday afternoon. “He went out and scored it. He almost called his shot. That’s who he is. He’s a confident person.”
When you’re a young team trying to win your franchise's first Stanley Cup in decades, having your 6-foot-5, 270-pound forward announce he’s going to win the game can be a confidence booster.