Police believe Dustin Byfuglien (right, celebrating the Hawks’ Stanley Cup victory) was boating while drunk. | Matt Slocum~AP
Updated: November 5, 2011 1:21PM
Former Blackhawks defenseman Dustin Byfuglien was arrested late Wednesday on suspicion of boating while intoxicated on Lake Minnetonka in Excelsior, Minn.
According to a Hennepin County police report, Byfuglien was brought to jail just after 11 p.m. and was released at 2:23 a.m. Thursday morning. Charges are pending.
Byfuglien, a Minnesota native, was a fan favorite for the Hawks and a key part of their run to the Stanley Cup in 2010. The 26-year-old nicknamed ‘‘Big Buff’’ scored 11 goals for the Hawks that postseason, famously tormenting Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo.
Byfuglien was traded to the Atlanta Thrashers last summer as the salary cap forced the Hawks to break up their championship team. He had an All-Star season after shifting to defense full-time, scoring 20 goals with 53 points. Byfuglien is now considered a cornerstone of the relocated and renamed Winnipeg Jets.
‘‘We’re aware of the reports. We’re still gathering information at this time,” Scott Brown, the Jets’ director of communications, told the Winnipeg Free Press.
Darren Wolfson, a Minnesota radio contributor for ESPN who broke the story, tweeted Thursday that Byfuglien refused to take a sobriety test. He also reported that Byfuglien weighed in at 286 pounds. He had battled weight gain while with the Hawks but usually played around 250 pounds.
NOTE: The Hawks added another veteran forward to their mix Thursday, signing left wing Brandon Segal to a one-year deal. The 28-year-old spent the last two years in the Dallas Stars organization, recording five goals and 10 points for the Stars in a career-high 46 games last season. He will compete for a spot on the fourth line at training camp but is expected to be sent to the Rockford IceHogs.